pair on alga
Hermaea sp. #1
|Maximum size: 7 mm.
a nearly transparent animal flecked with cream and light brown.
Olive-brown branches of the digestive gland show through the cerata.
There is usually a red-brown patch behind the eye spots on the left
the head and the rhinophores have tapered tips.
Hermaea sp. #1 is
a moderately common species found at protected to moderately exposed
rocky sites and in Halimeda kanaloana
beds at depths of < 1 to 11 m (< 3 to 36 ft). It is most numerous
in protected, back-reef habitats where it can be found, often in large
numbers, in patches of a small, plumose red alga (Wrangelia dumontii). (Note 1) We've observed it
feeding on that alga in dishes. It shows a diurnal activity
pattern when held and lays a white, arc-shaped egg mass (usually on its
host alga). The eggs hatch in about three days in the laboratory.
Big Island, Maui, Kauai and Midway.
animal is listed as "Stiliger
Gosliner, et. al., 2008. It was first recorded in Hawaii
from Hekili Point, Maui by CP on Aug. 3, 1991. Gosliner et. al. 2018 uses "Ercolania
sp." for this animal. So, there's some chance that it (and other
similar-appearing species from elsewhere that are currently included in
Hermaea) might be moved to that genus.
Photo: CP: 4
mm: Mala Wharf, Maui; Dec, 9, 2004.
Observations and comments:
1: There's some chance this algae may be Wrangelia elegantissima, instead.