front & rhinophores
on food sponge
Ardeadoris tomsmithi (Bertsch &
|Maximum size: 27 mm.
This species is distinguished by its translucent-gray or tan body with
pustules and a convoluted cream-white mantle margin edged with white
The rhinophores have white bases and steel-blue clubs with
longitudinal white lines on the anterior and posterior faces. The
gills are arranged in a double spiral and have white stalks with
is a moderately common, diurnal species found on rocky bottoms. It
lives in moderately protected to exposed
locations at depths of 1-30 m (3-98 ft). Aggregations are most commonly
found associated with a fine-textured, cream sponge suggesting that it feeds on that species. (Note 1)
It is one of
several Chromodorids that vibrates its gills. It lays a ruffled egg mass
variegated in yellow and white (with the color difference expressed in
Big Island, Maui, Lanai, Oahu, Kauai and Niihau: also known from the Marshall
Islands and Japan.
This is the species that Bertsch and Johnson, 1981 lists as Chromodoris albonotata
Bergh, 1877. It was first recorded in Hawaii by Hans Bertsch and Scott
from Makua, Oahu on Sept. 14, 1978 and named for Tom Smith. It's listed as Glossodoris tomsmithi (corrected in 2019 printing) and is
referred to as "Tom Smith's nudibranch" in Hoover, 1998 & 2006.
Molokini Islet, Maui; Nov. 23, 2006
Observations and comments:
1: It's apparent food sponge is often over-grown by other encrusting species.