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2nd animal
 



 
Pleurobranchus
(?) sp. #1
 
Pleurobranchus sp. #1
Maximum size:

Identification:  This pleurobranchid has a relatively smooth, moderately dark notum decorated with irregular cream patches that may correspond to low, flattened tubercles. The patches are often confluent, forming arcs and circles.

Natural history:  Pleurobranchus(?) sp. #1 is known from two animals photographed on sand at 289-389 m (948-1276 ft).

Distribution:  Molokai and St. Rogatien Bank: may also be known from the Marianas Islands. (Note 1)

Taxonomic notes:  We initially thought this animal might be a form of Pleurobranchus mamillatus. However, that seems less likely after comparison with the Marianas Islands photo. It was first recorded in Hawaii by the Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) by principal investigator Christopher Kelley on Sept. 28, 2002.

Photo:  HURL-NOAA archives, Robert Moffitt (PI): 289 m (948 ft); Molokai; Oct. 28, 2002.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  An animal photographed in the Marianas Islands at a depth of 200-400 m (656-1312 ft) during the NOAA-Okeanos Explorer expeditions has a similar pattern of white patches.
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