Phyllaplysia cf. lafonti Fischer, 1872
30 mm (Bertsch
& Johnson, 1981).
hare is translucent-cream with longitudinal
stripes and, often, faint violet blotches. Its body is smooth and flattened when
resting on its host
Phyllaplysia cf. lafonti
lives on the brown algae Padina
on which it's superbly camouflaged. It appears to be
rare in shallow, rocky
habitats. We've never seen it on Maui (although one
was recently photographed there by Angel Valdes). Scott
one in a tide pool at an exposed site on Oahu. Shells found
samples from Halimeda
beds suggest that it may be more common in that
community at greater
Oahu and French Frigate Shoals: may be widely
distributed in the Indo-Pacific (pending further work to determine
whether the Hawaii population is the same as others in the
the species listed in Kay, 1979 and Bertsch and
as Petallifera Petallifera
(Rang, 1928). It's also listed in some sources as Petallifera lafonti. Carlo Cunha (pers. com.) suggested that it should be in the genus Phyllaplysia and that the Pacific animals will probably turn out to be distinct from the Atlantic Phyllaplysia lafonti.
Johnson: side: Makapuu Point, Oahu; July, 1980.
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