Chromodoris aspersa (Gould, 1852)

This was a common shallow water species around Oahu. Although we could occasionally find them or day or night dives at favorites dive sites such as Makua, Pupukea, or Ewa, they were most common under rocks on the reef off Kewalo Basin at a depth of less than 1m. We also saw specimens at Spencer Park and Puako on the island of Hawaii, and subtidally on the seaward reef at Kure Atoll. Hawaiian specimens differ from those in the Marshalls (as well as through the rest of their Indo-Pacific range, such as the Solomon Islands) in that they do not have the orange marginal coloration on the dorsum.

The purple spotting and orange rhinophores and gills varied from fairly dark, shown on those above, to very pale like the following specimen.

Next are three under a rock on a shallow reef at Kewalo. The animal at right is crawling over a spiral egg mass. This species deposits its eggs in spirals with the side edge flat on the substrate, much like Chromodoris elisabethina from the Marshall Islands.

The two below were found next to a smaller Hypselodoris peasei.

The specimen below was photographed at Kure Atoll at the end of the northwestern Hawaiian chain.

Links:
Sea Slugs of Hawaii
Sea Slug Forum
Marshall Islands Sea Slugs
Solomon Islands

Created 20 April 2009

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