Phanerophthalmus smaragdinus from Reunion Island

February 23, 2006
From: Philibert Bidgrain

Dear Bill,
Reunion Island sea slugs.

In Reunion Island we have observed one specimen of this species in a lagoon. I think it could be Phanerophthalmus smaragdinus. What's your opinion? 

Locality: Saint Pierre, 1 m, Reunion Island, Indian ocean, november 2005, lagoon. Length: 20 mm. Photographer: Alain Barrére.

Best Regards
Philibert Bidgrain

Bidgrain, P., 2006 (Feb 23) Phanerophthalmus smaragdinus from Reunion Island. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Philibert,
Congratulations to Alain for his photographic technique. I have tried to photograph Phanerophthalmus smaragdinus many times without great success. It is usually half covered in sand - or at least with some grit - in the field, and does not like crawling on smooth surfaces in the lab. I never thought to try photographing it on my hand! This species is a great example of just how often in the Cephalaspidea, shelled species have evolved into slugs independently. In fact Phanerophthalmus was considered for many years to be a member of the Aglajidae. However its internal anatomy clearly shows that its ancestry is amongst the haminoeids.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Feb 23). Comment on Phanerophthalmus smaragdinus from Reunion Island by Philibert Bidgrain. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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