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Tenellia
sp. #22
 
Tenellia sp. #22
Maximum size:  7 mm.

Identification:  The head and body of this aeolid are translucent-white. The cerata are translucent-white with partial, orange-brown subapical bands and white tips. The ceratal core is darker basally. The rhinophores are translucent-white with semicircular annulations. The cephalic tentacles have tips that are flecked with opaque white. White spots may or may not be present on the notum and single, irregular white bands may be present on the cerata of spotted animals. The more slender and more numerous cerata, (as well as less prominent white pigment) distinguish it from Tenellia pinnifera. (Note 1)

Natural history:  Tenellia sp. #22 is a moderately rare aeolid that occurs in moderately protected to moderately exposed rocky habitats from < 1 to 34 m (< 3 to 110 ft). It lays a white egg mass of about one whorl.

Distribution:  Maui and Midway.

Taxonomic notes:  It was first recorded in Hawaii from Midway Atoll by Terry Gosliner and PF in June, 1993 and was formerly placed in the genus Cuthona.

Photo:  CP: 6 mm: Mala Wharf, Maui; April 27, 2005.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  The more numerous and more slender cerata are the primary characteristic distinguishing this species from T. pinnifera. If this difference should turn out to be due to posture or diet, it might be re-lumped with that species.
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