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Introduction

Welcome to the Sea Slugs of Hawaii web site. This site is the culmination of 25 years of our study and passion for Hawaiian sea slugs--gastropod mollusks of the subclass opisthobranchia including nudibranchs and their relatives. As many of you know, this was originally meant to be a book. However, with taxonomic changes occurring frequently due to DNA and other analysis, we wanted to create a site which could be updated, as needed.

Interest in Hawaiian sea slugs spread beginning in 1979 with the publication of Dr. Alison Kay’s comprehensive book, Hawaiian Marine Shells. A wider group including divers was introduced to these beautiful creatures in 1981 by Hans Bertsch and Scott Johnson’s full-color book, Hawaiian Nudibranchs. That little book, clearly a labor of love, was the main source for information on Hawaiian animals until John Hoover’s book, Hawaii’s Sea Creatures was published in 1998. The latter includes many common Hawaiian species and their new, updated names. Most recently, on-line sea slug sites have provided a vast amount of information for someone researching this group (particularly Dr. Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum). Also, Keoki Stender and John Hoover have created small on-line galleries of Hawaiian species as part of their larger invertebrate sites. But, there has been no site devoted specifically to Hawaii's unique fauna.

We hope this site will be a valuable addition to knowledge of Hawaii’s sea slugs as well as sea slugs, in general. Although we do not have a forum for discussion, we are happy to receive suggestions, update the site based on contributed observations and answer questions.

There is one person without whom this site would not exist. Dr. Terry Gosliner of the California Academy of Sciences is the recognized authority on the taxonomy of Hawaiian sea slugs. He has advised, taught and inspired us, and has identified and named many of the species on these pages. There are numerous other people who have contributed in ways large and small and we recognize and thank them on the acknowledgments page.

All photos are copyright© of the credited photographer and all animals illustrated were found by the authors unless otherwise noted.

We hope you enjoy the site.

Cory Pittman and Pauline Fiene

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By now, this site is largely complete. However, we're continually correcting typos, adding new photos, updating information, etc. In addition, there remain "holes" in the data and credits that we have yet to fill. We ask the patience of the viewer while we add that info. Meanwhile, we've also started a "recent changes" page listing major revisions. CP & PF
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