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Goniobranchus geometricus
(Risbec, 1928)
 
Goniobranchus geometricus
Maximum size:  about 15 mm.

Identification:  This species has a grayish-pink body broadly reticulated with dark violet and decorated with white-tipped tubercles. The rhinophore clubs are yellow-green. The branchia are usually, though not always, tipped with yellow-green.

Natural history:  Goniobranchus geometricus is known from one animal found crawling in the open, by day, at about 11 m (35 ft) at an exposed site. It mimics pink/gray phyllidiids and may rhythmically raise and lower the anterior edge of its mantle while crawling. (Note 1)

Distribution:  Maui: widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes:  This species was first found in Hawaii at Puu olai, Makena, Maui by Jon Goldberger on Sept. 3, 2023.

Photo:  Daniel Moth: about 15 mm; right rhinophore and branchia regenerating: found by Jon Goldberger; Puu olai, Makena, Maui; Sept. 3, 2023.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  Presumably, the mimicry allows it to benefit from the "predator training" generated by the toxic/distasteful phyllidiids.
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