Mourgona sp. #1
|Maximum size: around 20 mm
(not recorded at time).
animals of this species have flattened leaf-like cerata covered
with small tubercles. The body is translucent cream, liberally flecked
with white, orange and dark purple. There is a cluster of more
prominent purple spots on top of the head behind the eye spots.
Greenish-brown branches of the digestive gland can be seen in the bases
of the cerata. Very young animals have smoother and more cylindrical
cerata with more
prominent branches of the digestive gland and fewer
purple, orange and white spots. Also, the cluster of spots on their
tends to be reddish-purple.
Mourgona sp. #1 is a
moderately rare nocturnal species found in protected to moderately
exposed rocky habitats at depths of < 1 to 9 m (< 3 to 30 ft).
It appears to be most common at less than 1 m (3 ft). It contracts its
cerata rhythmically while crawling.
Maui and Kauai: may have been recorded from Guam and the Philippines.
recorded in Hawaii from Hekili Point, Maui by CP in Aug., 1989. It was previously listed as a Cyerce sp. (Note 1)
around 20 mm; some cerata autotomized?: found by CP; Hekili Point,
Maui; Aug., 1989.
Observations and comments:
1: A juvenile animal found at Hekili
Point Maui in 2018 had violet spots on its cerata and black flecks
behind the eye, resembling animals illustrated as "Mourgona sp. 2" in Gosliner, et. al, (2018). (see photo) Mourgona sp. #1 is considered endemic to Hawaii but closely related to "Mourgona sp. 2." Meanwhile, the violet spots in "Mourgona
sp 2" appear to be absent or weakly expressed in juveniles from
elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. It seems most likely that this is a
matter of a character being rarely expressed in Hawaii but commonly
expressed elsewhere. But, there remains a chance that both species occur in Hawaii.