Elysia obtusa sacoglossan

Elysia obtusa Baba, 1938

Elysia obtusa is uncommon, but is known in the Marshalls from specimens found at Enewetak, Kwajalein, and Bikini Atolls. Most were under rocks on lagoon reefs and pinncles, but one was on the wall of a small seaward reef cave at night. Depths ranged from 2 to 15 meters, and lengths of the animals from 8 to about 12mm. The first specimen below is from Bikini Atoll, where it was under a lagoon reef rock at a depth of 2m on 14 June 1982. It measured 8mm in length. This species may well be the same as the earlier named Elysia flava Verrill, 1901, from the Atlantic Ocean, but there is still some uncertainty in the literature and on the seaslug sites. Since we have listed it as E. obtusa for quite a while, we have decided to leave it there until the status clears up a bit more.

The two photos below show a specimen from Kwajalein Atoll, found under a rock on a lagoon pinnacle at a depth of about 6m on 5 January 2009.

The specimen in the next two photos was found under a rock on a Kwajalein Atoll lagoon pinnacle at a depth of about 6m on 12 July 2009. The first shot shows it immediately after the rock was turned over. The Elysia was curled up next to some very similarly colored tunicates. Coincidence?

Another from a southern lagoon pinnacle on 26 January 2015.

A very yellow specimen found in one of the Kwajalein reef quarries by Christina Sylvester.

Created 2 February 2007
Updated 16 July 2016

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