possible food sponge?
with egg mass
Phyllidiopsis cardinalis Bergh, 1875
|Maximum size: 40 mm.
dirty-yellow notum mottled with cream and brown. The compound
tubercles are arranged
longitudinally in three main rows and usually have more brown pigment
remainder of the notum. The foot is brilliant yellow as are the fused
is moderately common and is the only Hawaiian phyllidiid known to
be nocturnally active. During the day, it is usually found under rocks
in moderately protected to moderately exposed locations from 4-52 m
(13-170 ft). It has also been
found in tide pools and has been observed on tan and bright
yellow sponges. (Note 1) It lays a cream, spiral egg mass with the ribbon attached on its side.
Big Island, Maui, Oahu, French Frigate Shoals and Kure: widely
illustrated in Bertsch and Johnson, 1981 as the top
photo on page 39 (mislabeled as Carminodoris
grandiflora). It was first recorded in Hawaii at Makua, Oahu by
Johnson on March 10,
Severns: Molokini Islet, Maui; May 4, 1989.
Observations and comments:
1: A sponge that may show some
feeding damage was found next to an animal and its egg mass. Although
feeding wasn't observed, the sponge's color matched the color of the
animal's underside and its surface texture matched the animal's dorsal
surface. That suggests that it may be a food species.