Wagner et al. 2007

scientific article | Coral Reefs

New report of nudibranch predators of the invasive octocoral Carijoa riisei in the Main Hawaiian Islands

Wagner D, Kahng SE, Toonen RJ


In 1972, an azooxanthellate octocoral never before seen in Hawaii (identified by F. M. Bayer as Telesto = Carijoa riisei) was discovered within the fouling community in Pearl Harbor. C. riisei was soon discovered on other islands, and was recently reported to have dramatically impacted the Hawaiian deep reef coral community below 60 m (Kahng and Grigg 2005). To date, studies on C. riisei and its associated microcommunity have failed to identify any predators in Hawaii (Thomas 1979). Here we report two nudibranch predators (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) of C. riisei recently found in Hawaii: the dendronotid nudibranch Tritoniopsis elegans (Fig. 1a) and the aeolid nudibranch Phyllodesmium poindimiei (Fig. 1b). Both have been observed apparently feeding on C. riisei colonies in the field, and these observations have been confirmed in laboratory feeding assays. These species are not reported in any previous marine invertebrate surveys from Hawaii (Eldredge and DeFelice 2002). Both were first collected from Hawaii in 1995 (C. Pittman, personal communication), and are now abundant within certain locations inhabited by C. riisei.

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Mesophotic “mentions”
1 x (total of 321 words)

* Presents original data
* Focused on 'mesophotic' depth range
* Focused on 'mesophotic coral ecosystem'


Octocorallia (Soft Corals)
Other invertebrates

USA - Hawaii

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