Phyllodesmium sp. #3
|Maximum size: about 25 mm.
The body of this animal is violet-cream with touches of blue
iridescence. The cerata, rhinophores and cephalic tentacles are
tipped with greenish-cream. Slender branches of the digestive gland
ramify throughout the body, cerata, rhinophores and cephalic tentacles (but do not form side pockets). (Note 1)
#3 is known from a single animal found in a shaded, rocky habitat at
about 17 m (55 ft). Although the site is exposed to strong
currents/surge, it was crawling in the open, by day, in a somewhat
protected micro-habitat. (Eric Shewchuk, pers. com.)
It was first
recorded in Hawaii from Pyramid Point, Niihau by Eric Shewchuk on May 2, 2019.
Photo: Eric Shewchuk:
about 25 mm: Pyramid Point, Niihau; May 2, 2019.
Observations and comments:
1: An examination of the original
photos failed to yield any indication of structure underlying the cream pigment on the cerata suggesting that they lack cnidosacs. Although there
remains some possibility that the fine lines represent pigment rather
than the digestive gland, an examination of the original photos failed
to reveal any other internal structure in the cerata except for a faint granularity. It also suggested
that the lines dip into and out of lower tissues rather than being