Tritoniopsis elegans (Andouin, 1826)

Tritoniopsis elegans is considered a variable species and as such may include the other species on this site called Tritionopsis cf elegans, Tritoniopsis cf alba, and Tritoniopsis sp. e140. However, they all looked just different enough that we decided to keep them separate, at least for now. This species is known from Kwajalein Atoll, and is found most often at night on soft corals on the seaward reef. It can also be under rocks near soft coral colonies on the seaward reef and lagoon reefs and pinnacles.

Here is an orange-colored specimen.

The yellow specimen below was on a torn-up colony of soft coral lying in an algae patch on a Kwajalein lagoon slope. A small rock to which the coral was attached was lying on top of the colony. Almost certainly, the soft coral had broken off the reef above and shoreward and washed across a sand flat to land in the algae.

The specimen below was under a rock on a Kwajalein lagoon pinnacle on 24 October 2011. The tiny columbellid below the head of the first photo below may be Seminella dautzenbergi.

Below are four views of a small individual along with the soft coral colony it has been eating. The whitened soft coral appears to have been grazed.

Created 20 January 2007
Updated 12 December 2015

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