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no dark brown




egg mass

cf. natalensis
Krauss, 1848
Haminoea cf. natalensis
Maximum size:  23 mm.

Identification:  This species has a translucent, straw-colored shell with fine, wavy spiral striae. The animal is cream blotched with olive and brown. Dark brown spots, orange-brown spots and white flecks show through the shell but, in  older animals, the shell becomes thicker and darker partially obscuring the underlying pattern. There is a band of darker blotches between the eye spots on top of the head. Rarely, dark spots may be lacking.

Natural history:  Haminoea cf. natalensis is one of the most common haminoeids in Hawaii. It can be found in mixed and rocky habitats from < 1 to 8 m (< 3 to 26 ft) but is most common at shallower depths. It occurs in highly protected to highly exposed locations but is most common in protected areas. It is only occasionally found in Halimeda kanaloana beds. Nocturnally active, it is often associated with patches of the blue green algae Lygbia on which it probably feeds. According to Kohn (1959) it's the most common species eaten by the molluscivorous cone, Conus pennaceus. The elongate egg mass is cream to greenish-yellow and contains a "slinky like" egg string. It's attached via an adhesive surface and usually acquires a coating of sand or detritus in the field. It typically hatches in about three days in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau and Midway: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  This is the species listed in Kay, 1979, Morris, 1974 and Tinker, 1958 as Haminoea crocata Pease, 1860. Shells at the Bishop Museum attributed to Haminoea adamsii Dunker, 1862 and Haminoea galba, Pease, 1861b also appear to be this species and the photo labeled H. galba in Kay, 1979 is probably of H. cf. natalensis, as well. Haminea sandwichensis Sowerby, 1868 may also be a synonym (Kay, 1979). It's illustrated in Johnson, 1982 as "Haminoea sp.". It's listed as Haminoea sp. 1 in Severns, 2011 and recent DNA evidence suggests that the Indo-Pacific Haminoea natalensis is probably a complex. (Manuel Malaquias, pers. com.) It was first reported from Hawaii in Pease, 1860 (as Haminea crocata). The animals and egg masses listed as Bulla sp. in Ostergaard, 1950 were probably this species, instead.

Photo: CP: about 20 mm: Hekili Point, Maui; Nov. 26, 2007.

Observations and comments:

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