Aegires sp. e118

It is difficult to say whether an animal only 5mm long is common or rare in an area. At that size, they'd be tough to find even if common. But as far as we know, Aegires sp. e118 is rare in the Marshalls, known from three specimens found at Enewetak Atoll and one more at Kwajalein. All Enewetak specimens were under rocks on the same lagoon reef at a depth of about 4 meters. One was found in October of 1981 and the other two (separately) in May of 1983. Because these tiny animals were difficult to photograph at decent resolution with an old extension tube-equipped Nikonos camera, some notes on the color of the living animals follow.

The body is firm and covered with warts of varying heights, which were especially dense around the anterior margin. Color is dark gray black with the warts black, often with a white fleck at the tip of each wart. There were approximately regularly spaced light to bright blue spots, 2 just anterior of and slightly toward midline from rhinophores, 1 just posterior of each rhinophore, 1 on each side between rhinos and gills, 1 large one composed of 3 smaller ones just anterior to the gills, 1 on each side of gills, and and 1 directly behind the gills. Foot is lighter gray, bordered with darker gray. Rhinophores are smooth and gray with white tips, and extend out of thick bases that are warty around the upper edge. Each rhinophore has small wart on anterior side near tip. Gills consist of 3 branched small gray stalks on inner surface of 3 large dorsal warty processes; the processes extend much higher than gills and are located approximately middorsally. The three specimens observed measured 5, 5, and 7mm in length.

One more that may be the same species was found in a Kwajalein reef quarry by Christina Sylvester in January 2016. It was a bit smaller, and the tiny blue spots were not readily apparent.

Created 3 January 2007
Updated 20 August 2016

Return to phanerobranch thumbnails

UnderwaterKwaj home