with egg mass
Placida sp. #1
|Maximum size: 5 mm.
species has a cream body densely patterned with green branches of
the digestive gland. The cerata are spindle shaped, often with
constricted tips, and the branches of
the digestive gland in their centers have short, irregular side
branches. There are usually a few white flecks on the tips of the
cerata as well as on the pericardium. Most animals have a dark green
anterior to the pericardium.
Although seldom seen due to it's small size and superb
camouflage, Placida sp.
#1 is a common species found on green
algae of the genus Codium,
particularly Codium edule. It
occurs in moderately protected to moderately exposed locations at
depths of < 1 to 2 m (< 3 to 6 ft). It shows a diurnal
activity pattern when held in dishes. We've observed it feeding on Codium edule and, when feeding, it
flattens its cerata laterally against it's host. It lays a flattened,
cream egg mass, usually on its host alga. The eggs hatch in six to
nine days in the laboratory.
Big Island, Maui, Oahu and French Frigate Shoals: very similar forms are widespread in
species is part of the Placida
dendritica complex. It was first recorded in Hawaii from Napili
Bay, Maui by CP on May 14, 1991.
3.5 mm: Ulua Beach, Maui; April 2, 2005.
Observations and comments:
1: A 3.5 mm animal found on April
2, 2005 and fed Codium edule
grew to 5 mm by April 15 while laying multiple egg masses.