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young, 2.8 mm

few spots

purple spots

with algae



with egg mass


Lamprohaminoea cymbalum
(Quoy & Gaimard, 1833)
Lamprohaminoea cymbalum
Maximum size:  30 mm (extrapolated from shell length).

Identification:  This species has a strongly inflated transparent shell without spiral striae. The animal is bluish-green with bright orange spots. Larger orange spots with even white borders show through the shell. Generally, it can be distinguished from Lamprohaminoea cf. ovalis and Lamprohaminoea sp. #1 by the broadly confluent nature of those spots. Animals usually (but not always) have fewer purple spots than in those two species.

Natural history:  Lamprohaminoea cymbalum is a moderately common diurnal species that can be found in rocky habitats at moderately exposed to highly exposed sites. It occurs in tide pools on wave-washed platforms and subtidally to depths of about 8 m (25 ft). It's often occurs in substantial mating/feeding aggregations and sometimes forms "trailing" chains. It feeds on algae (presumably, green) embedded in algal turf and filamentous green algae occasionally grow on its shell. It lays an elongate, cream egg mass that is attached by an adhesive surface rather than a mucous string. The eggs form a "slinky-like" spiral in the interior.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau and Nihoa: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  This species is referred to as the "cymbal bubble shell" and is listed as Haminoea cymbalum in Hoover, 1998 & 2006. It's also listed as Haminoea cymbalum in Kay, 1979, Kay & Schoenberg-Dole, 1991 and Bertsch & Johnson, 1981. Clay Carlson and Patty Jo Hoff suggest on the Sea Slug Forum that Haminoea simillima Pease, 1868 might be the preferred name for it due to inability to confidently identify the type material of the earlier H. cymbalum. It's probably listed in Severns, 2011 as Haminoea sp. 3 and is mislabelled as Phaneropthalmus cf. cylindricus in the live photo on page 418. Haminoea aperta oahuensis Pilsbry, 1917 is also a synonym (Kay, 1979) and it is listed under that name in Edmondson, 1946 and Tinker, 1958. It's also listed in Ostergaard, 1955 and Ostergaard, 1950 as Haminoea crocata (probably due to a misinterpretation of the match to Pease's shell description of that species). It was probably first reported from Hawaii in Pilsbry, 1917.

Photo:  CP: Hekili Point, Maui; Oct. 31, 2004.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  ( )
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