This is one of the exciting new nudibranchs to appear in a book on Hawaiian opisthobranchs in preparation by Terry Gosliner, Cory Pittman and Pauline Fiene-Severns. In many years of diving I have seen this slug only four times, once on mixed sand and hard substrate at about 40 ft. off the Sheraton at Ka`anapali, Maui, and the rest on hard substrate off O`ahu and the Big Island between 40-80 ft.
The resemblance to the much
more common Phyllidia varicosa is striking--undoubtedly some
sort of mimicry is involved. One way to tell the two apart
is to look at the underside. P. varicosa always has a dark
line running the length of the foot; this species does not.
More details will be revealed in the new book. Keep tuned!
Hawaii's Fishes, a Guide for Snorkelers, Divers and Aquarists Mutual Publishing, 1993
Hawaii's Underwater Paradise, Mutual Publishing, 1997
Hawaii's Sea Creatures, a guide to Hawaii's Marine Invertebrates. Mutual Publishing, 1999.
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