Home
Acknowledgments
Conventions
Glossary
Maps
References
Links
Articles
Thumbnails
Species list
Family
Next species
_______________
 
Additional Photos
 

underside
 

side
 


small tubercles
 

dark
 

iridescent
 

young, 3 mm
_______________
 
GALLERY



 
Elysia
sp. #7
 
Elysia sp. #7
Maximum size:  8 mm.

Identification:  This is a small species with low parapodia that usually form two chimneys. The body is cream with peach patches and there are often irregular black patches on the sides of the head. Irregular patches of black pigment may also be present on the sides of the parapodia and some animals have extensive iridescent flecks. (Note 1) It's distinctive in having large, though variable, downward-sloping tubercles on the sides of the parapodia. (Note 2)

Natural history:  Elysia sp. #7 is a moderately common plakobranchid that is found on rocky bottoms in moderately protected to moderately exposed locations at depths of < 1 to 5 m (< 3 to 17 ft). It jerks its parapodia intermittently while crawling.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui and Oahu: possibly known from Madagascar.

Taxonomic notes:  It was first recorded in Hawaii from Maluaka, Maui by CP on Nov. 15, 1995.

Photo:  CP: 7 mm; large tubercles, light: Hekili Point, Maui; June 3, 2003.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  The lack of green pigment in the digestive gland branches in highly iridescent animals might suggest that they haven't fed recently or aren't retaining chloroplasts. Perhaps, the iridescent flecks are only deposited (or only become visible?) when that happens...

Note 2:  Although speculative, the distribution on Maui suggests that animals with larger tubercles may occur in areas with higher surge. Perhaps, they enlarge during development in response to hydrological stress?
Thumbnails
Species list
Family Next species Top