Phyllidia scottjohnsoni Brunckhorst, 1993

This species seems to be found primarily out near the western end of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In about 6 weeks spent at Kure Atoll in 1979 and 1980, most of our days were spent capturing, measuring, tagging, and releasing spiny lobsters. We did some after-hours excursions to look for other creatures both in the lagoon and on the seaward reef. In three seaward reef excursions, eight specimens of Phyllidia scottjohnsoni were recorded, all in ledges and along small walls at depths of 3 to 10m. The photos below are some of these Kure specimens. On the Sea Slug Forum, Keoki Stender reports it as common at Midway, another atoll a bit to the east of Kure. I also have this species recorded from several locations around Oahu, but all of my photos from Oahu show specimens that lack the central row of spots, and are now considered to be Phyllidiopsis loricata. While I think I remember finding specimens with the central row of spots on Oahu, possibly the two specimens I have recorded from Haleiwa, I apparently do not have the photographic evidence to back it up, and it is possible that the Hawaiian distribution of P. scottjohnsoni is restricted to far northwestern islands.

Links:
Sea Slugs of Hawaii
Sea Slug Forum

Created 20 April 2009

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