Goniobranchus sp. #5
about 70 mm.
lightly "stained" with salmon. There is a red,
reticulate pattern in the mid-area of the notum and
the lateral portion contains large red spots. The
margin is ringed in yellow. The rhinophores are
yellow to yellow-orange and the gills are white with
red-edged pinnae. The notum is decorated with low,
conical pustules that distinguish it from the
similar appearing Goniobranchus
sp. #1. It is distinguished from Goniobranchus
petechialis by its lighter notum and
is a common, diurnal species seen on rocky bottoms
from < 1 to 15 m (< 3 to 49 ft) at Midway and
Kure atolls. Recently, it's been photographed at
exposed to highly exposed rocky sites in the main islands. One of those
animals was under a ledge at about 12 m (40 ft). (Note 1)
Midway and Kure.
sp. #5 appears to be closely related to G. petechialis
(there is some possibility it might ultimately prove
to be a color form of that species) and both are
part of the Indo-Pacific Goniobranchus tinctoria complex. It's listed in Hoover, 2006 (5th printing) as Chromodoris
2 (corrected in 2019 printing) and is referred to as the "Midway nudibranch." It
may have been first found in Hawaii at Oahu in the 1960s as illustrated
in Kay & Young, 1969 (a photo labeled C. petachialis).
PF: Midway Atoll; May 29, 1998.
Note 1: It's rarely been reported from the main islands. It appears in Kay & Young, 1969 in an Oahu photo labelled C. petachialis.
To our knowledge, that is the only main islands record prior to an
animal found by Anthony Kuntz at Niihau in 2011 and animals found by
David Rolla at Oahu in 2016 and 2018.