Tenellia melanobrachia (Bergh, 1874)

We saw quite a few of these at Makua and Pupukea, Oahu, and at Puako, Hawaii. They could be found day or night, but were more commonly seen at night. We always found them on or very near their prey, the orange tube coral Tubastraea coccinea, which is commonly found on the ceilings of ledges and small caves. Although the nudibranchs have been reported to most often be found on pieces of the coral that have broken off and are lying on the bottom, we found most of our specimens on the cave ceilings among the still-attached corals. We'd find them by scanning around for a patch of fresh white, empty coral skeletons, and the nudibranchs would usually be close by. Specimens are most often orange, but occasional dark brown ones feeding on a dark brown form of Tubastraea can be found. While we don't have any usable photos of Hawaiian brown specimens, we did get some shots of a couple from the Solomon Islands.

A tiny specimen can be seen at the left side of the photo below.

Below are two specimens next to a couple of colonies of the greenish orange coral Cladopsammia eguchii, a relative of the orange Tubastraea seen above.

Links:
Sea Slugs of Hawaii
Sea Slug Forum

Created 20 April 2009
Updated 27 March 2017

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