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Unidentified Phyllidiid #1
 
Unidentified Phyllidiid #1
Maximum size:  about 10 mm.

Identification:  This firm dorid has a pink notum with low, smooth, conical tubercles. The tubercles are simple, and do not join to form ridges. They appear to be arranged in a ring around the mantle margin and in three loose longitudinal lines in the middle of the notum. The anus opens dorsally. The rhinophores are cream. The pale lines and patches on the back of the nudibranch appear to be the result of predation rather than part of the normal coloration.

Natural history:  The single known animal was found out in the open on lava rock at a depth of 14 m (45 ft). Cynthia reports that when a black durgeon (Melichthys niger) took it in its mouth it immediately spat it out, indicating a possible chemical defense.

Distribution:  Big Island: perhaps known from Papua New Guinea?

Taxonomic notes:  It is possible that this is a juvenile or atypical color form of another phyllidiid though no known species from Hawaii is uniformly pink. It was first recorded in Hawaii from Kona, Big Island by Cynthia Hankins in July, 2007.

Photo:  Cynthia Hankins: Kona, Big Island; July, 2007.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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