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young, 3 mm


egg mass

Liloa mongii
(Audouin, 1826)
Liloa mongii
Maximum size:  18 mm (extrapolated from shell length).

Identification:  This species has a thin, transparent, cylindrical shell with fine, evenly-spaced spiral striae. The animal is translucent-cream flecked with white and violet-brown. It almost always has a cluster of violet-brown flecks on top of its head behind the head shield. It may be distinguished from Liloa porcellana by that trait, by its thinner shell and by the presence of spiral striae in the center of the shell at all sizes.

Natural history:  Liloa mongii is a common nocturnal species found in protected to exposed patchy habitats and Halimeda kanaloana beds from < 1 to 24 m (< 3 to 80 ft). It buries itself in sand during the day. When disturbed, it can swim by flapping its parapodia. It lays a spherical, white egg mass that hatches in about three days in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Maui, Oahu, Kauai, French Frigate Shoals, Laysan and Midway (also Johnston Atoll): widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  This species is listed as Haminoea curta in Kay, 1979 (although the photo may be of Liloa porcellana).  Haminoea olopana (Pilsbry, 1921), Haminoea curta tomaculum (Pilsbry, 1917) and Haminoea tomaculum (Pilsbry, 1921) are listed as synonyms in Kay, 1979. It's probably listed in Edmondson, 1946 as both H. curta and H. olopana). However, the descriptions and illustrations of  H. tomaculum in Edmondson, 1946 and Pilsbry, 1917/1921 may refer to Liloa porcellana, instead. The photos labelled Liloa curta in Tinker, 1958 are also ambiguous. It's listed as Atys curta in Severns, 2011. It was first reported from Hawaii in von Martens, 1871.

Photo:  CP: 15 mm: Hekili Point, Maui; Oct. 28, 2004.

Observations and comments:

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