Berthellina delicata (Pease, 1861)

Berthellina delicata is common in the Marshalls, usually found under rocks on lagoon reefs and pinnacles at depths of 1 to at least 15 meters. We have seen specimens at both Kwajalein and Enewetak Atolls. They are active at night and eat a variety of sponges and hard corals. This was long known as Berthellina citrina, but Gosliner et al (2008) suggest that B. citrina is restricted to the Red Sea and that the one from the rest of the Indo-Pacific should be B. delicata (Pease, 1861). B. delicata is also common in Hawaii.

Below shows one with a couple of its egg masses.

The animal below had just been eating the red sponge. You can see a dug out area in the sponge just back from under the anterior end on the left side of the photo.

It occasionally comes in a yellow color form that some believe might represent a separate species.

The one below with its egg mass was found in a lagoon Halimeda patch in about 7m of water on 23 January 2012.

Created 27 January 2007
Updated 13 December 2015

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