Phyllidiopsis gemmata from Reunion Island

December 20, 2006
From: Philibert Bidgrain

Dear Bill,

We have found a lot of specimens of Phyllidiopsis gemmata, and all of them present a little variation from the original description of this species.
They have some little black stripes around the animal in the marginal band.
I never see such pattern in specimen from another country

Locality: 5 to 20 m, Reunion Island, Indian Ocean

What's your opinion about this remark? Have you already see such pattern variation ?

Philibert Bidgrain

Bidgrain, P., 2006 (Dec 20) Phyllidiopsis gemmata from Reunion Island. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Philibert,

After receiving the Flodrops' recent messages, and then yours, I thought I had better check up on Pruvot-Fol's original description of P. gemmata and was surprised to find that the specimen she illustrates has the radial, or transverse, lines around the mantle edge as in your specimens. So far from being unusual, it appears your animals are 'typical' and the one which Brunckhorst illustrates and describes in his monograph [see species Fact Sheet] is the unusual one. Pruvot-Fol does not give any locality data in her description of this species - except for mentioning it was in a vial in the British Museum - but Brunckhorst, who studied the British Museum material, gives Java as the locality of the type material. Pruvot-Fol does not mention the radial lines either, but they are clearly visible in her photograph, which I have reproduced here.

So I guess I can now confidently say your animals are P. gemmata.

Pruvot-Fol, A. (1957) Révision de la famille des Phyllidiadae. 2. Journal de Conchyliologie, 97: 104-135, Pl.1.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Dec 20). Comment on Phyllidiopsis gemmata from Reunion Island by Philibert Bidgrain. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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