Discodoris lilacina (Gould, 1852)

Discodoris lilacina is a circumtropical species known under a variety of different names. We found it commonly intertidally in Hawaii, but we do not see it often here, probably because it tends to live in shallower water than we typically dive. It is usually found under rocks on intertidal and shallow subtidal reefs. This species is difficult to tell externally from Sebadoris fragilis, with which it shares some of the same habitats. T. lilacina tends to be smaller, and bears much smaller brown dots on its underside. We have seen at least 17 specimens, and all but one were in less than 4 meters of water. Eleven measured animals ranged from 14 to 85mm in length. This species has a habit of autotomy, or shedding a portion of its mantle margin when disturbed. The first four photos were taken under a concrete slab along the lagoon shore of central Kwajalein Island at a depth of about 1m.

The underside shows scattered brown spots.

The remaining specimens were photographed on a lagoon reef of Enewetak Atoll.

A small specimen found on 20 July 2015.

It is with some uncertainty that we place the two shots below on this page. This animal was found on 23 September 2012 under a rock on a midlagoon pinnacle. It was small, measuring about 18mm.

Another small one found 11 November 2016.

Created 15 December 2006
Updated 24 March 2017

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