Baeolidia scottjohnsoni Carmona, Pola, Gosliner & Cervera, 2014
|Maximum size: 12 mm.
this species is
similar to Baeolidia
moebii. However, it can be distinguished from that species by
fine branches of the digestive gland in the tips of the cerata as well
as the subterminal yellow and iridescent blue patches on the
dorsal surfaces of the cerata.
Prior to 2021,
Baeolidia scottjohnsoni was
known from only three animals found in Halimeda
kanaloana beds at a depth of 6-12 m (20-38 ft).
However, in fall, 2021 Rebecca Bicker and Kelly McCaffrey found
numerous animals at about 7 m (22 ft) in the same habitat. It feeds on
the anemones Stichodactyla sp. and Bunodeopsis medusoides. (Note 1) A small
cream egg mass laid in a holding dish was similar in form to that of Baeolidia
salaamica rather than that
of B. major. It hatched in
Maui: widely distributed in the western & central Pacific.
species is listed on some sites as Berghia
japonica or Baeolidia japonica. It was first
recorded in Hawaii from Wahikuli, Maui by PF on Nov. 30, 2008.
Photo: CP: 12
mm; found by PF; Wahikuli, Maui; Nov. 30, 2008.
Observations and comments:
1: In Oct., 2010, a 9 mm animal
observed repeatedly feeding on Bunodeopsis
medusoides in a holding dish over a period of
several days. The anemones were collected in the same sample as the
aeolid. Juvenile anemones (regurgitated, regenerating tentacles) were
"captured" with the oral tentacles and sucked in like spaghetti. Larger
animals were attacked from the base, after they released, with one or
bites taken per session. The mature anemones showed a strong aversive
response (releasing and swimming) on contact with the aeolid. However,
after attacking the mature anemones several times, the Baeolidia no longer showed interest
in doing so and appeared stressed. This may have been due to other
factors. But, perhaps, repeatedly attacked anemones might develop
chemicals in the manner of some plants under attack by insects?