large, 28 mm
Lamellaria sp. #1
|Maximum size: 28 mm.
species with variably developed
may be reticulated with opaque pigment. (Note 1) In
reticulation is lost, tubercles may become more prominent
and secondary, superficial white pigmentation develops on the dorsal
surface, usually forming a posterior bar.There are five irregularly
on the dorsal surface: one central and four lateral with the lateral
projections usually tinged with violet. The background color
varies from white to yellow to bright orange-red. The cephalic tentacles are
white. The underside of the foot usually has faint orange-brown flecks.
Lamellaria sp. #1
is a common species in moderately protected to moderately exposed rocky
habitats and Halimeda
kanaloana beds at depths of < 1 to 21 m (< 3 to 69 ft).
It may be deriving its color primarily from the tunicates it eats and
larger orange-red animals may be mimicking sponge eating dorids such as
pikokai. It may feed on several species of didemnid tunicate
since we've photographed it on at least two showing probable feeding
Big Island, Maui, Oahu, French Frigate Shoals and Lisianski: probably widely distributed in the
There is some uncertainty in separating it from other listed species of Lamellaria. (Note 2)
Photo: CP: 15
mm; orange-red; low tubercles: Kapalua Bay, Maui; April 17, 2009.
Observations and comments:
1: If present, the dorsal reticulations of young animals
appear to be intermediate in size (proportionally) between those of
young Lamellaria sp. #5 and Lamellaria sp. #2. As a consequence, the assignment of juveniles may be problematic.
Note 2: The
identity of a large animal from Kaneohe Bay (see photos)
is particularly ambiguous. The basic color pattern and the presence of a
cross-bar suggest that it belongs with this species. But, the faint
light rings around the dark spots suggest an affinity with Lamellaria sp. #3. Meanwhile, the opaque "inclusions" in the dorsum suggest an affinity with Lamellaria sp. #6. That characteristic, however, is also present in a few other animals that we're including under this species in the "gallery section"... It's conceivable that further work may support lumping all three. Or, the more atypical animals currently lumped with Lamellaria sp. #1 may ultimately be split off as another species.