Goniobranchus coi (Risbec, 1856)

This gaudy 30mm chromodorid was found and photographed by Jeremy Owens at a depth of about 6m right off Kwajalein's Emon Beach, certainly the most heavily dove area in the atoll. This is the first and so far only record of this species from the Marshalls. Where have these been hiding? Jeremy found the animal in December, 2016, a bit more than a year after an El Niño that generated a lot of west winds, opposite our normal northeast tradewinds. Possibly larvae were carried to Kwaj from farther west. We have seen this species as close as Pohnpei, several hundred miles west of Kwajalein. The first two shots below show the animal on the sponge Chelonaplysilla violacea, its apparent food source.

Two more photos of the same animal by Stan Jazwinski.

Created 20 March 2017

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