Noumea varians from Hawaii

January 19, 2002
From: John Hoover

Dear Bill,
Here is what appears to be a Noumea varians from Hawaii, photographed in the boat channel at Magic Island (Ala Moana) Park, Honolulu a few years ago. As you know, Hans Bertsch and Scott Johnson illustrated a similar animal in their 1981 book, Hawaiian Nudibranchs, calling at the time one of two color forms of Thorunna gloriosa. In a previous posting I believe you identified the other "color form" as Noumea norba. I have not yet seen N. norba here, and to date have seen only this one N. varians. These Noumeas are few and far between, at least in the areas where I dive.

Best wishes,

Hoover, J., 2002 (Jan 19) Noumea varians from Hawaii. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks John,
We probably still have some way to go before this Noumea purpurea Colour Group of species is fully sorted out. One character which is quite prominent in your photo is the purple foot. Another character, which is not quite so clear is the colour of the gills - translucent clear with a faint orange border. I can't say that these characters solve it identification for us but they are certainly worth keeping in mind when comparing it with similalry coloured species.

By the way, have you or any of your colleagues in Hawaii made any progress in rediscovering Chromodoris petechialis? It would be wonderful to know that it still exists.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Jan 19). Comment on Noumea varians from Hawaii by John Hoover. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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