Micromelo undata

Micromelo undata (Brugière, 1792)
Family Hydatinidae

These animals crawl on algae-covered rocks in shallow water. Their beautiful blue-green mantles, which almost glow in the sunlight, are adorned with white spots and yellowish margins. The shell, attractively patterned with black spiral lines intersected by wavy transverse ones, is too small to hold the animal's entire body. This species feeds on small, colorful bristle worms of the family Cirratulidae, whose toxin they incorporate for their own defense. The species name means "wavy." Micromelo guamensis is considered a synonym by most researches. It attains about 1/2 in. and occurs in all warm seas.

Photo: Magic Island boat channel, O`ahu. 5 ft.

Photos and Text courtesy of John Hoover

John P. Hoover lives in Honolulu. He has published two books on marine life of the Hawaiian Islands. His third (pictured at left), a field guide to the marine invertebrates of the Hawaii, will be available approximately May 1999. With over 600 photographs, it will cover 500 species, including 66 of Hawaii's most colorful and interesting opisthobranchs.

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.

John's books are available through Sea Challengers !

Send John E-Mail at hoover@hml.org

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