More hope for Chromodoris petechialis

January 22, 2002
From: John Hoover

After I sent my earlier message about the "extinct" Chromodoris petechialis I remembered the case of the little cowry Cypraea semiplota, another Hawaiian endemic. It was one of the most common Hawaiian shallow-water cowries during the first several decades of the 20th century. In the 1940s and 1950s, however, the population dwindled and disappeared. No one knew why and some considered it extinct. It eventually returned in small numbers in specific locations and its population bloomed and fell several times. Maybe the beautiful red-spotted C. petechialis will likewise return.


Hoover, J., 2002 (Jan 22) More hope for Chromodoris petechialis. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks John,
It's easier to imagine a collectable shell being collected to extinction than a slug. Many sponges do seem to come and go with great irregularity so I guess there is always a chance that C. petechialis will return - as long as it didn't lose all contact with its favourite food.
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Jan 22). Comment on More hope for Chromodoris petechialis by John Hoover. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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