young, 8 mm
with food sponge
Discodoris lilacina (Gould, 1852)
|Maximum size: 40 mm.
a pale brown species decorated with irregular darker blotches.
The notum is covered with small papillae that vary in length and the
branchia are cream, frosted with white. Lines of patches on each side
the notum are often darker than the rest with the larger patches having
"leopard-like" internal structure in contrast to the solid spots of the
similar-appearing Jorunna alisonae. The underside is variably flecked with brown.
is a common nocturnal species. It is found primarily in the low
intertidal and tide pools though, rarely, it may occur at depths up to 21 m (69 ft). (Bertsch and Johnson,
1981) It occurs in
protected to exposed rocky habitats and, rarely, in Halimeda
kanaloana beds. It sometimes autotomizes portions
of its mantle when disturbed, presumably as a defensive measure, and it
feeds on a turquoise encrusting sponge (Note 1).
It lays a cream egg mass with a variably ruffled margin that hatches in
about five days in the
Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Kure: widely distributed in the
is the species listed as Discodoris
fragilis (Alder and Hancock, 1866) in Kay, 1979, Kay & Young, 1969 and Bertsch &
Johnson, 1981. It is also listed in some sources as Tayuva lilacina.
It is probably mentioned in Edmondson, 1946 as an unnamed species
referencing Fig. 96c. It was first reported from Hawaii in Gould, 1852
(as Doris lilacina).
Hoover: found by Darrell Takaoka; May 6, 1997.
Observations and comments:
1: We've often found it associated
with this sponge in the field and have observed it feeding on fragments
of the sponge in dishes.