young, 5.5 mm
probable egg mass
Godiva sp. #1
|Maximum size: 35 mm (Gosliner,
et. al., 2008).
This species has a translucent-cream body frosted with orange-brown
flecks and with white patches that show blue iridescence in strong
light. The cerata are numerous and slender with red-brown bases. They
are frosted with cream apically and have one or more iridescent blue
bands. Young animals have far fewer cerata and more white pigment on
the cephalic tentacles.
Godiva sp. #1 is a moderately rare aeolid on Maui found in Halimeda
kanaloana beds at depths of 10-12 m (33-39 ft). However, on Oahu
and Midway it has
also been recorded from floating docks (thermal pollution tables at
Coconut Island) and more exposed rubble habitats
at depths up to 20 m (66 ft). (Gosliner, 1980). It
to be diurnally active and "flares" its cerata when disturbed. It lays
an irregular, 'kinked" spiral egg mass that varies from pale pink to
white, probably during the course of development.
Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Midway.
It was first reported from Hawaii in Gosliner, 1980 as Godiva quadricolor (Barnard, 1927).
Johnson: about 16 mm: Pupukea, Oahu; Aug. 19, 1985.
Observations and comments:
1: On July 16, 2021 Virginia Armstrong
recorded a video of a mating pair. As with most aeolids, the event was
brief with the lower animal apparently inseminating the upper one around
five seconds after first contact and the upper animal recoiling
strongly immediately afterward (and, even more strongly on second
contact a few seconds later). (see screen grab of pair immediately after withdrawal)