Re: Phyllodesmium longicirrum feeding

December 6, 2006
From: Michael Henke

Concerning message #18808:

Dear Bill,
Thanks for your comments. What I especially wanted to know is what is the little round part of the Phyllodesmium longicirrum. It doesn't look like feeding. Maybe it's an egg?
Best wishes,

Henke, M., 2006 (Dec 6) Re: Phyllodesmium longicirrum feeding. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Michael,
As well as your close-up, I've added a couple of close-ups as well from your earlier photos. I ma pretty sure the round thing is attached to the white bit. I at first thought this was part of the reproductive system but it's in the wrong place. I am pretty sure its part of the same phenomenon that has caused the white cerata. It seems to be some aberrant regrowth after some injury. I'm sorry I can't be more specific but if I had the animal in front of me I could give it a gentle poke and prod just to get a better idea of what this structure is. All I can say is that it is abnormal and definitely isn't anything to do with feeding. You can see the head in the bottom right photo. I have ringed one of the oral tentacles. I am not quite sure why the oral tentacles are so contracted - perhaps they are sensitive to some defensive chemical the soft coral is exuding?

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Dec 6). Comment on Re: Phyllodesmium longicirrum feeding by Michael Henke. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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