Siphopteron quadrispinosum Gosliner, 1989
|Maximum size: 6 mm.
This species has a bright yellow body. The parapodia are margined in
white and both the siphon and flagellum are red.
is a common diurnal species found on open sand and in Halimeda kanaloana beds at depths
of 6-27 m (20-90 ft). Numbers appear every year on open sand in early
summer and then decrease until virtually none are seen during the fall,
winter and spring. They swim readily when disturbed and lay a
yellow egg mass. (Note 1) On July 12, 2013 Paul Okumura observed one being eaten by the the sand-dwelling anemone, Mesacmaea gilbertensis. (see photos).
Big Island, Maui, Oahu and Kauai.
It was first recorded in Hawaii from Kihei, Maui by Stan Jazwinski in Oct.
1978. Similar animals from the western Pacific are Siphopteron leah (Ong, et. al. 2017).
Photo: CP: 5
mm: Airport Beach, Maui; June 1, 2008.
Observations and comments:
1: On June 6, 2021 Pam Madden shot a video of an animal with its egg mass in the field.
At the start it was resting on the mass in a slightly contracted
posture while slowly flapping its parapodia up and down. After a few
moments, it shifted position and crawled back and forth over the mass
several times. Perhaps, it was still laying or had just finished in the
first portion? (see photo) And, perhaps it was shaping the mass (or further securing it to the
bottom) in the second portion? (see photo)