Ardeadoris tomsmithi is relatively rare here in the Marshalls, with the few specimens coming from lagoon pinnacles or the seaward reef slopes at depths of 6 to 16 meters, where they are found in ledges and small caves. This species has been seen at Enewetak and Kwajalein Atolls. Four specimens measured ranged from 19 to 30mm in length. The species was originally described from Hawaii, and the Marshalls specimens seem to differ primarily in the rhinophore and gill coloration, which is brown instead of the mostly black shown by Hawaiian specimens. Hawaiian ones also appear to have a brighter yellow marginal line.
The pair below had especially crowded white spotes on the dorsum.
The specimen in the two photos below was found in a small ledge on a Kwajalein Atoll lagoon pinnacle on 15 August 2010.
The next three show a small specimen found under a rock on the knee of the seaward reef slope in about 12m.
The yellowish one below came from under a rock on a shallow western lagoon reef on 6 August 2012.
The next one was under a rock on a southern lagoon pinnacle on 16 September 2012.
The specimen below is from Hawaii. Notice how black the rhinophores are, much darker then the typically brown rhinophores of Marshall Islands specimens. The gills are darker as well, although here the difference is not as great.
Created 3 January 2006
Updated 7 October 2012
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