Holotype of Phyllidiopsis sinaiensis - correction

September 9, 2003
From: Bernard Picton

Hi Bill,
I think I've made a bad mistake over Phyllidiopsis sinaiensis. The photo I sent which I thought was of the holotype is a good match for the one Nathalie Yonow herself identified for Erwin Koehler, but I've now taken another look at Nathalie's original description and I'm sure neither of these is actually what she described as P. sinaiensis. She had a single specimen (collected by myself) and illustrates this in a drawing - it does match perfectly with the photo sent to you by A. Fahrner & M. Schroedl on May 23rd 2001. (Part of this confusion has arisen because I sent you the one I thought was the P. sinaiensis holotype in Feb 2001, before I checked Nathalie's paper and I was looking at Erwin's photo as my reference. I should have known to check the original source I know!!).

On the other hand I think there are then virtually no differences between P. sinaiensis and P. krempfi, if as Alexander and Michael point out, the tubercles are compound not 'single structures' as Nathalie described them from the preserved specimen. I'd keep the name for Red Sea ones though, as taking a splitter approach at least helps gather separate data sets. We need population samples and growth series from every locality I guess.

These Phyllidiids are really a nightmare! I'm sure they must be prime candidates for some DNA or protein electrophoresis work and I doubt we'll get it right until that is done. Given how much visual selection must be
going on to produce mimics like Aldisa williamsi and the flatworms you have on your Phyllidiella mimicry page I'm not surprised that humans have a problem with them.



Picton, B.E., 2003 (Sep 9) Holotype of Phyllidiopsis sinaiensis - correction. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10929

Thanks Bernard,
THis message of yours has been sitting in the 'pending' file for some time with a separate message from Michael Schroedl on the same topic. The reason for the delay in posting these is that I was trying to find time to check these phyllidiids myself, but as you say they are very confusing and my time for 'reflection', rather than just 'reaction' seems to be getting shorter and shorter. What I am not clear about is the identity of the animal you thought was the holotype?
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Sep 9). Comment on Holotype of Phyllidiopsis sinaiensis - correction by Bernard Picton . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10929

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