Marsenina stearnsii

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Stearn's ear-shell:
Stearn's ear-shell (Marsenina stearnsii): This fascinating little species looks just like a cryptic nudibranch, but careful examination will reveal a dorsal slit in the mantle that eventually widens to reveal the top of the animal's shell. M. stearnsii is differentiated from Marsenina rhombica by its small, evenly spaced pores. Also, M. rhombica may be warty or spotted. M. stearnsii is a noted predator of Didemnid tunicates, and has been observed to feed on the invasive Marine vomit (Didemnum vexillum) in our area. The shell is possibly not a sufficient basis for identification down to the species level.

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