Goniobranchus vibratus (Pease, 1860)

Goniobranchus vibratus was relatively common around Oahu and at Puako, Hawaii. It seemed to prefer reefs with cleaner water, such as Pupukea, Makua, Makua Ledge, and Koko Head, but could also occasionally be found on the silty ledges of the Magic Island channel. It constantly wiggles its gills, which is no doubt the trait that led Pease to give it the name "vibrata." Although originally thought to be endemic to Hawaii, two young specimens have been found in the Marshall Islands and a few others that appear to be this species from other locations.

Clusters of yellow mantle glands embedded within the mostly white submarginal band probably produce toxic or noxious compounds to deter predation.

Specimens often wave their anterior margins up and down when crawling, revealing the dark purple coloration on the underside of the anterior mantle margin.

This species eats a dark purple sponge that is most likely Chelonaplysilla violacea.

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

Created 20 April 2009
Updated 1 July 2012

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