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Plocamopherus
maculatus
(Pease, 1860)
 
Plocamopherus maculatus
Maximum size:  35 mm.

Identification:  This species is translucent-cream with light orange spots and white flecks. There are usually patches of darker orange on the mid-line of the notum. There are two or three pairs of elongate lateral papillae with the posterior pair (near the branchia) usually tipped with pinkish "balls".  There is a central crest on the posterior portion of the notum.

Natural history:  Plocamopherus maculatus is a moderately common nocturnal animal found in moderately protected to highly exposed rocky habitats at depths of < 1 to 15 m (< 3 to 49 ft). The lateral "balls" are bioluminescent and it can swim by lateral flexing when disturbed. It lays a pink, spiral egg mass.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai and French Frigate Shoals: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  This species is listed as Plocamopherus tilesii in Bertsch and Johnson, 1981. It was first reported from Hawaii in Pease, 1860 (as Histiophorus maculatus).

Photo:  CP: 19 mm: Hekili Point, Maui; Nov. 7, 2007.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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