Hypselodoris maridadilus Rudman, 1977

I identify this animal as Hypselodoris maridadilus, although this remains just a tiny bit questionable. It had been suggested on the Sea Slug Forum that these could be a form of Hypselodoris whitei, but for quite a while I did not think this was possible. Hypselodoris whitei we have seen in the Marshall Islands has crosshatching lines between the longitudinal maroon lines and they just did not look much alike at all. Since then, however, we did find a H. whitei at Kwajalein Atoll that had no crosshatching lines and looked a lot like the Hawaiian animals. This Kwajalein specimen was paired up with a typical H. whitei. To me, that throws the enitre issue into doubt once again. But not much. The Kwajalein H. whitei whose lines resembled H. maridadilus is only one specimen out of 50 or more observed in the Marshalls, and only this one lacked cross lines between the main longitudinal lines. All Hawaii H. maridadilus look like the photos below. It seems more likely the single oddball Kwajalein specimen was aberrant. I recorded 15 specimens in Hawaii, all in the Magic Island channel.

A close view of the anterior end shows a somewhat pustulose body.

Links:
Sea Slugs of Hawaii
Sea Slug Forum

Created 20 April 2009

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