probable egg mass
Stiliger sp. #6
|Maximum size: about 10 mm.
is a slender species with long, spindle-shaped cerata and very
long rhinophores. The body, cerata, rhinophores and cephalic tentacles
are variously decorated with iridescent-white flecks and sub-dermal cream spots. The tips of the
larger cerata and
rhinophores are frosted with gray. There is a diffuse, dark gray-green
line between the eye spots and diffuse, dark gray-green patches on the
central notum as well as a translucent white patch on the pericardium.
Branches of the digestive gland
run throughout the body, down the centers of the cerata and along the
ventral margins of the rhinophores. In older animals, the dark markings
may become less pronounced and the branches of the digestive gland more
Stiliger sp. #6 was
known from only two animals prior to Oct., 2022 (one each from the Big Island and Oahu). Those two were found at highly
protected sites. However, 15+ animals were recently found at a moderately exposed
site on Maui. Depths ranged from 3-6
m (10-20 ft). The Maui animals were in filamentous algae
(probably a Cladophora sp.) on which they were probably feeding.
It readily autotomizes its large central cerata. (Note 1) It probably lays a white, slightly arced egg mass.
Big Island, Maui and Oahu: also known from Okinawa and Bali.
It was first recorded in Hawaii from Kaneohe Bay, Oahu by Terry Gosliner in the 1970s.
Gosliner: Kaneohe Bay, Oahu; 1970s.
Observations and comments:
1: The sub-dermal cream spots in the tips
of its cerata appear to have ducts connecting to the surface suggesting
that they may be glands, perhaps secreting defensive chemicals.
Meanwhile, the small, dense-green spots on the lateral cerata (that
aren't typically autotomized) are suggestive of retained chloroplasts
that may be contributing to it's nutrition.