Lamellaria sp. #7
|Maximum size: about 25-30 mm.
that's usually densely maculated with superficial white pigment. It's
tubercles vary in height but the areas between the tubercles are
relatively smooth. Non-white areas are minutely flecked with darker
orange. It's distinguished from Lamellaria sp. #6 by its white maculation and from Lamellaria sp. #2
by the irregular nature of its white maculation as well as the dusky
highlights seen in large animals. Occasional animals may lack white but
still show the relatively smooth surface and minute, dark orange flecking (in non-white areas) that are seen in typical animals.
Lamellaria sp. #7
is known on Maui from five animals, one found in a moderately exposed rocky
habitat at about 5 m (15 ft) and four found at 6-9 m. (20-30 ft) in Halimeda kanaloana beds. Keoki Stender found a similar
animal at Kewalo, Oahu, at a depth of 24 m (80 ft). The first Maui animal was associated with a specimen of Lamellaria sp. #1 on an orange didemnid tunicate showing feeding damage. (Note 1)
Maui and Oahu.
Taxonomic notes: There is some uncertainty in separating this species from other listed species of Lamellaria. It's unlikely to be a form of Lamellaria
sp. #1 due to differences in color details and tubercles although the
Kapalua animal was found in close proximity to a "normal" example of
that species. It
Hawaii from Kewalo, Oahu by Keoki Stender (as illustrated in the first
three photos on the Lamellaria page on his site).
about 15-18 mm (estimated from photo): Kapalua Bay, Maui; April 4, 2017.
Observations and comments:
1: The presence of the first Maui animal on a tunicate showing feeding damage might suggest that it eats that
species. But, the freshly damaged edges of the tunicate are closely
associated with the specimen of Lamellaria sp. #1, rather than Lamellaria sp. #7. So, the relationship remains inconclusive.