young, 6.8 mm
Elysia sp. #5
|Maximum size: 23 mm.
is an intensely green animal with white patches and minute, dark
green ocelli. The rhinophores are stout and the parapodia form three
narrow, tall chimneys with inrolled margins. There are no marginal
lines and the body surface has many fine papillae. Young animals have
lower chimneys on the parapodia and peach tips on the rhinophores.
Elysia sp. #5 is a
species known from only four animals. They were found on rocky bottoms
in protected to moderately exposed locations at depths of < 1 to 1.5
m (< 3 to 5 ft). All three mature animals had
damaged parapodia. (Note 1) Two of the
three were found resting in the open at night. The 23 mm animal
laid an egg mass similar to the egg mass of Elysia tomentosa--a flattened, 0.8
wide, yellow ribbon composed of a smaller egg string laid down in a
zig-zag pattern and deposited in a loosely coiled, irregular
spiral. An irregular band of bright yellow extra-capsular yolk ran
along the upper surface of the string emphasizing the zig-zag
pattern. Hatching occurred in about 6 days in the laboratory.
Maui: also known from Japan and the Marshall Islands.
It was first
recorded in Hawaii from Black Rock, Maui by PF on Sept. 15, 1993.
Photo: CP: 23
mm; damaged parapodia (center right and anterior left chimneys missing;
posterior left chimney directed backward beyond tip of foot): Hekili
Maui; April 27, 1999.
Observations and comments:
1: Since all of the mature Hawaiian
animals and most of the comparable animals illustrated from elsewhere
in the Pacific have damaged parapodia, it's tempting to speculate that
the elongate lobes may represent "expendable" body parts analogous to
the mantle lobes in Lobiger viridis
(perhaps containing antifeedant chemicals?).