Galeojanolus and Philine

August 11, 1998
From: Richard Willan

Dear Bill,

I hadn't looked at your slug forum for some time, so your request this morning for me to look at the zephyrinid from New Zealand gave me a chance to read the latest items and catch up on all that has passed regarding Philine auriformis.

The zephyrinid is definitely Galeojanolus ionnae. Janolus ignis would be the only other similar species from New Zealand, but that has lilac blue markings on the body and the cerata are neither swollen nor pustulose.

The correct identity of the Philine from California has considerable significance back in this country. The name Philine auriformis appears on the List of marine species that pose a threat to Australia (Appendix 2.2) published by Hewitt & Martin (1996) in CRIMP Technical Report No. 4. Even given the problems with identification, I doubt this opisthobranch could really pose much of a nationwide threat! I wonder where that name came from and why it was chosen for listing like this?

Some time I need to examine the large white Philine which is common up here in Darwin Harbour. Externally it looks just like P. angasi.


Richard Willan
Northern Territory Museum
Darwin, Australia.

Willan, R., 1998 (Aug 11) Galeojanolus and Philine. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks for the confirmation of Galeojanolus.

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