Scyllaea pelagica
Linnaeus, 1758

Family: Scyllaeidae


Worldwide, living pelagically attached to pieces of floating kelp or Sargassum weed, where they feed on attached hydroids.


Bimini Islands, Bahamas, Western Atlantic. on floating Sargassum weed. February 08, 2004. Size: 40mm. Photos: Marina Poddubetskaia.

The body is dorso-ventrally flattened with large elaborate flattened rhinophore sheaths which dwarf the small rhinophore. There are two pairs of dorso-lateral lobes, which have a characteristically jagged edge, and the posterior end of the body has a flattened medio-dorsal crest which also stands vertically. There are small scattered conical tubercles on the sides of the body and fine dendritic gills over the inner surface of the dorso-lateral lobes and the dorsum. The genital opeming is on the right side in front of the anterior lobe, and the anus lies between the two right lobes. The body is yellowish with brown mottling, and some white markings, and so matches the Sargassum weed on which it lives. There are often a row of brilliant blue spots down each side of the body. It grows up to 45 mm in length.

• Baba, K. 1937. Record of a nudibranch, Scyllaea pelagica Linne from Sagami Bay, Japan. Zoological Magazine, Japan [Dobutsugaku Zasshi] 49,(7): 247-249.
•Baba, K. (1949) Opisthobranchia of Sagami Bay. Iwanami Shoten. Tokyo.
• Cuvier, G.L.C. (1805) Memoire sur la Scyllee, l'Eolide et le Glaucus avec des additions au memoires sur la Tritonie. Annales de Museum National d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, 6: 416-436, Pl 61.
• Hancock, A., & D. Embleton. 1847. On the anatomy of Scyllaea. The Athenaeum (1028): 748.
• Hancock, A., & D. Embleton. 1848. On the anatomy of Scyllaea. Report of the 17th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Oxford, 1846, 17: 77. • Hancock, A., & D. Embleton. 1848b. Sur l'anatomie de la Scyllaea. Journal Universel des Sciences et des Societes Savantes in France et a l'etranger, Sciences Mathematiques, Physiques et Naturelles, Paris, 16(1): 80-81.
• Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturae, Ed. 10. Vol.1.
• Roginskaya, I. S. 1987a. Food and feeding of Opisthobranchia: Scyllaea pelagica Linne. pp. 43-46, 104, 106. [In:] A. P. Kuznetsov & M. N., Sokolova (Eds.). Feeding of marine invertebrates and its significance in formation of communities. Academy of Sciences of the USSR, P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, 110 pp. Moscow. [In Russian].

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2004 (March 10) Scyllaea pelagica Linnaeus, 1758. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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