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Lamellaria
sp. #5
 
Lamellaria sp. #5
Maximum size: about 20 mm (estimated from photos).

Identification:  This species has low, rounded ridges on its dorsal surface that become more prominent tubercles in fully mature animals, particularly in the center of the dorsum. It's dorsum is completely or partially covered with opaque-white pigment granules with regularly spaced clear spots. There are usually white flecks on the underside of the foot.

Natural history:  Lamellaria sp. #5 is a moderately common species found in moderately protected to moderately exposed rocky habitats and in Halimeda kanaloana beds at depths of about 5-18 m (17-60 ft). It appears to mimic a white didemnid tunicate that is common in its habitat and may feed on it. However, in the only photo we have of it on a tunicate with feeding damage, it's on an orange didemnid.

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu and French Frigate Shoals: probably widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  There is some uncertainty in separating this species from other listed species of Lamellaria. It was probably first recorded in Hawaii from Kapalua Bay, Maui by CP in 1994.

Photo:  Ralph Turre: side; about 20 mm (estimated from photos): Maalaea Bay, Maui; June 21, 2014.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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