Hypselodoris cf. whitei
UPPER: Hawaii - Scott Johnson. [see message below].
LOWER: A, H. maridadilus. B, H. whitei - 'typical' colour forms PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.
This chromodorid from Hawaii seems to have features of both Hypselodoris maradadilus [Fig A] from the Indian Ocean, and Hypselodoris whitei [Fig B] from the Pacific. In general appearance it looks like H. maridadilus, with uniform background colour, but like H. whitei in the white tipped rhinophores and gills. However it differs from both in having the whole upper edge of each gill lined with opaque white. Gosliner & Johnson note that the two species can be differentiated on the arrangement of the mantle glands. In H. maradadilus they are found all around the mantle edge except around the anterior end. In H. whitei they are packed all around the mantle edge except for a break halfway along each side. The photo above shows an Hawaiian animal with this break along the side, but if you look at the lower right photo from New Caledonia on the H. whitei page you will see an animal which seems to have a continuous row of mantle glands along the whole side. I am not sure what it all means but I think the situation still needs clarification.
See Scott Johnson's record of this colour form from Marshall Ids [#1864]
• Bertsch, H. & Johnson, S. (1981) Hawaiian nudibranchs, a guide for SCUBA divers, snorkelers, tidepoolers, and aquarists. 1st ed. Oriental Publishing Co., Honolulu, Hawaii. 112 pp pages.
• Gosliner, T.M. & Johnson, R.F. (1999) Phylogeny of Hypselodoris Nudibranchia: Chromodorididae) with a review of the monophyletic clade of Indo-Pacific species, including descriptions of twelve new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 125: 1-114.
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (February 13) Hypselodoris cf. whitei [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/hypscfwh
February 15, 2000
From: Scott Johnson
I know you already have a photo from John Hoover of the Hawaiian Hypselodoris whitei, but I figured a few more wouldn't hurt. Attached are three photos of what Hans Bertsch and I called Hypselodoris maridadilus in Hawaiian Nudibranchs. I've kept them separate from more typical H. whitei because of the considerable and consistent differences in appearance between them and specimens from the Marshall Islands which I have sent separately.
Johnson, S., 2000 (Feb 15) Hypselodoris whitei? from Hawaii. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/1863
Thanks for these photos. I don't think we have resolved the identity of these Hawaiian animals. Have a look at my comments at the top of the page. There do seem to be consistent differences between 'typical' H. whitei and your animals. Most puzzling perhaps is the similarity in colour between them and the basically Indian Ocean species H. maridadilus.