Phestilla cf. minor Rudman, 1981
|Maximum size: about 7 mm.
aeolid is translucent white to cream, with some opaque white on
the head and notum. The cerata can have up to three
swellings: the basal is small, the medial large and the apical
intermediate in size giving the tips a bulbous appearance. The
rhinophores are smooth and translucent white or cream.
Phestilla cf. minor is
a rare species that feeds on corals of the genus Porites under which it typically
hides during the day. Faucci, et. al. (2007) report it feeding on Porites compressa in Kane'ohe Bay,
Oahu. Unlike most
other aeolids, Phestilla spp.
do not possess cnidosacs at the tips of their cerata for storing
nematocysts. This is presumably because of the small size and,
therefore, weakness of the coral's nematocysts. It has lecithotrophic
larvae. (Faucci, et. all, 2007)
Big Island and Oahu: related forms are widely distributed in the
et. al. (2007) suggest that Phestilla
minor may be part of a cryptic species
complex based on molecular evidence. It was first recorded in Hawaii
from the Big Island by Larry Harris.
Harris: Big Island.
Observations and comments:
1: ( )