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Mourgona
sp. #1
 
Mourgona sp. #1
Maximum size:  around 20 mm (not recorded at time).

Identification:  Mature 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. In contrast Mourgona sp. #4 has violet patches in the tips of its cerata, no purple spots behind the eye spots and more sparse side branches of its digestive gland. 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 heads tends to be reddish-purple.

Natural history:  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.

Distribution:  Maui and Kauai: may have been recorded from Guam, the Philippines and Reunion.

Taxonomic notes:  It was first recorded in Hawaii from Hekili Point, Maui by CP in Aug., 1989 and was previously listed as a Cyerce sp. (Note 1)

Photo:  PF: around 20 mm; some cerata autotomized?: found by CP; Hekili Point, Maui; Aug., 1989.

Observations and comments:

Note 1: Two major color differences in mature animals combined with the difference in side branches of the digestive gland suggest that Mourgona sp. #1 and Mourgona sp. #4 are distinct and sympatric in Hawaii.
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