Phyllidiella cf. lizae Brunckhorst, 1993
|Maximum size: about 25 mm.
is similar to Phyllidiella pustulosa
with a black notum, pink tubercles, black rhinophores and a pink
marginal line. However, it differs from that species in having a
flatter body, lower tubercles, no black lines ascending the sides of the
tubercle clusters, no pink pigment overriding the posterior margins of
rhinophore sheaths, lateral tubercle patches limited to arcs/spots (rather
than circles) and paler pink coloration. Some animals have
better-defined circles of pink tubercles on the central notum.
Phyllidiella cf. lizae is known from at least nine animals found
in moderately exposed rocky habitats at a depth of 5-14 m (18-46 ft).
Big Island and Oahu: known from Christmas Island and French Polynesia (perhaps, elsewhere in the Pacific).
Taxonomic notes: While they were originally misidentified as juvenile Phyllidiella pustulosa, the DNA of the Kaneohe animals proved divergent from that species (Gustav Paulay, pers. com.).
reexamination, they were found to differ from P. pustulosa in several ways. All three of the animals were consistent with each other
in those characteristics. They were also consistent with animals
photographed at Christmas Island and in French Polynesia. Some photos labelled P. pustulosa on-line and in guides also appear comparable. The Big Island
animal has better-defined circles of pink tubercles on the notum but otherwise matches the others. That
pattern is reminiscent of some on-line photos labelled Phyllidiella lizae. However, the original description of P. lizae
includes photos of animals with much more pink on the notum and the rhinophore
bases. Therefore, whether or not they should be lumped is an open
question. It was first recorded in Hawaii during the 2017 MarineGeo
at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu by the Invert Team on May 28, 2017.
Photo: Invert Team: 14 mm: 2017 MarineGeo; Kaneohe Bay, Oahu; May 28, 2017.
Observations and comments:
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