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Goniobranchus petechialis
(Gould, 1852)
Goniobranchus petechialis
Maximum size: 70 mm (Gosliner, et. al., 2008).

Identification:  This species has a pale-salmon notum spotted with red and margined with yellow. The rhinophores are yellow and the gills are white with red lines on their inner and outer surfaces. The notum is decorated with low, conical pustules that distinguish it from the similar appearing Goniobranchus sp. #1. It differs from Goniobranchus sp. #5 in its darker background color and spotted (as opposed to reticulated) notum.

Natural history:  Goniobranchus petechialis is known from one animal found at Honolulu in the 1800s (the basis of the 1852 description) and two animals photographed on Oahu in 1959. The 1959 animals may have come from Kaneohe Bay, a shallow highly protected site.

Distribution:  Oahu.

Taxonomic notes:  This species was first reported from Hawaii in Gould, 1852 (as Doris petechialis) and appears to be closely related to Goniobranchus sp. #5 with both species being part of the Indo-Pacific Goniobranchus tinctoria complex. For further discussion see The Sea Slug Forum. There is some possibility Goniobranchus sp. #5 might ultimately prove to be a color form of G. petechialis. The name means “blood vessel hemorrhages” referring to the pattern on the notum. It's listed in most sources as Chromodoris petechialis although it is not the species listed under that name in Bertsch & Johnson, 1981, Kay, 1979 and Kay & Young, 1969.

Photo:  Paul A. Zahl: animals probably from Kaneohe Bay, Oahu; 1959: Photo courtesy of the National Geographic Society. Copyright: National Geographic Magazine.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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