Well the derivation of the name of this species is certainly a - "no brainer." Viola (purple) branchia (gills) certainly points to this species diagnostic character. Found on page 260 of Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs. We note that the anterior and posterior ends of the dorsum are edged with purple, as are the outer edges of the gill plume and the posterior side of the rhinophores. Several other internal characters differentiate this species from - H. peasei and H. insulana.
A nice sized critter, reaching 35 mm in length, it is found in shallow waters to 20 meters. It's distribution makes it an interesting species, currently thought to be endemic to the Hawai'ian Islands.
Good show Tracy, for capturing this rare one.
Tracy Clark on location at La Jolla Shores, Calif
Tracy Clark was certified in 1986, a month after being certified he rented a underwatercamera in Hawaii and was hooked. Tracy is a Public Works Lead Worker . He dives mostly San Diego areas, plus a few trips to Hawaii. He has placed in various underwater photo contests.. He has had photos published in magazines and recently tried his hand at writing an article for California Diving News. Tracy was also SDUPS Photographer of the Year in 1999, 2004 and 2008.
Picture (above) was taken with a Nikon D-70s, Sea & Sea housing, two Sea & Sea 110 strobes.
You will find Tracy at La Jolla Shores almost every weekend and sometimes on Friday.
Send Tracy email at firstname.lastname@example.org