Plocamopherus lucayensis from Florida

May 27, 2009
From: Linda Ianniello

Dr. Bill,

Attached is what I believe is Plocamopherus lucayensis from the Atlantic, which looks a lot like your sp. 1 [message #884] from the Philippines!

Locality: Lake Worth Lagoon, 15 feet, Florida, USA, Atlantic, 25 April 2009, Tidal, intracoastal. Length: 1.5 inches. Photographer: Linda Ianniello.

Linda I.

Ianniello, L.M., 2009 (May 27) Plocamopherus lucayensis from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Linda,

Thanks for these photos of P. lucayensis, which makes its first appearance on the Forum. In their description of this species, Hamann & Farmer mention that it was found on a bryozoan belonging to the family Bugulidae, and the 'weedy' growth in your photo is almost certainly the same bryozoan. Your animal has definite similarities to Plocamopherus sp. 1. from the Philippines, and considering your animal apparently feeds on bugulid bryozoans which are well-known foulers of ships' bottoms, hitchhiking around the world is a possibility. However Plocamopherus sp. 1 has three pairs of large lateral papillae while P. lucayensis appears to have only a single pair. I guess we will need to keep an eye out for more specimens of both species so we can find out juts how variable in colour and body shape they both are.

I am interested to note that Valdes et al., in Caribbean Sea Slugs, note that this species produces flashes of light when disturbed, while Hamann & Farmer specifically state that they did not observe this phenomenon. Have you seen it do this? You would only see it on a night dive or in an aquarium, and often a well-known 'flasher' like P. imperialis won't perform, so I would be interested to know whether the mention in Caribbean Sea Slugs was based on soemone's personal observations or if I have missed a reference to this phenomenon.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (May 27). Comment on Plocamopherus lucayensis from Florida by Linda Ianniello. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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  1. Re: Plocamopherus lucayensis from Florida
    From: Linda Ianniello, May 28, 2009

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