Adults: Cream white. mantle covered with orange, often somewhat rectangular, spots bordered in black. Lustrous shell is reddish cream to pure white.
Juveniles: More elongate, with fewer and larger spots.
The shell's polished finish is produced by the fleshy mantle, which tcan cover the entire shell (it is retractible). Feed on gorgonians, especially sea fans, and the path of its feeding can often be seen on the surface of these. At depths from 6 to 45ft (2-15m). Usually found on sea fans and sea whips (gorgonians).
Forms breeding aggregations following mucous trails and water-borne pheromones. Females oviposit encapsulated eggs onto the bare axis of gorgonians, which are exposed by the snails’ feeding activities. Oviposition occurs roughly on a lunar cycle, although individual females can lay several egg masses within a cycle. The eggs develop into planktonic larvae while still encapsulated on the surface of the coral colony, however, the duration of the planktonic phase is unknown.
Roughly a week and a half after oviposition the larvae hatch out of the capsules and spend an undetermined length of time feeding on plankton. The larvae metamorphose into juveniles and gradually grow to adult form. Many tiny (<5 mm) juveniles can be found on gorgonian coral colonies, and are rarely seen on any other substrate, suggesting that larvae settle specifically onto gorgonian colonies
| Ecological Descriptors
(Sea Fans/ Whips)