May 21, 2007
From: Lindsay Warren
Here are the details and additional photos of the second specimen (OS1000) of Phyllidiella hageni which was found by Jennifer Dean in the Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi in 2000 [see message #19196 for first specimen]. This specimen is preserved and held by the Museum Bogoriense, Cibinong, Java, Indonesia (Reg No: MZB.Gst.11.893).
One of the notes made with this specimen is that the chemicals it released "smelled like child sick" and was pretty potent from what I remember - most unpleasant.
Locality: 'Double Spur', Pulau Kaledupa, Tukang Besi Archipelago, 12 m, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tropical Western Pacific, 24 August 2000, Steep slope to sheer drop off, reef in excellent condition. Length: 50 mm. Photographer: Lindsay Warren.
All the best
firstname.lastname@example.orgWarren, L.C.R., 2007 (May 21) Phyllidiella hageni from SE Sulawesi, Indonesia . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19197
Thanks for these excellent shots of the oral tentacles. Unfortunately the oral tentacles of P. pustulosa are very similar in shape and colour so in this case they can't help us.
It is interesting to hear of the potent smell of the chemicals released by the skin glands of this species. I think they are probably the very isonitriles which have been isolated from some phyllidiid species. I think I have mentioned elsewhere walking into a lab one morning to find the room filled with an acrid smell which soon had my eyes watering. It came from a pair of Phyllidia varicosa in an aquarium who had killed all life in their tank by exuding these sponge metabolites from their glands. That is why I don't recommend them as aquarium 'pets'.