Plocamopherus ocellatus from Iran [1]

May 4, 2010
From: Mahdi Moradi Och Tapeh

During my researches on Coral Reef in Persian Gulf I found this species on coral Reef bed in Larak & Qeshm Island, and I need your guidance concerning its identification and biology?

Locality: Qeshm Island - Bandar Abbas, 2-5m, Iran , Persian Gulf , 4 February 2009, coral reef and rocky bed . Length: 2-4cm. Photographer: Mohammad Sharif Ranjbar .

Best Regards
Mahdi Moradi

Moradi, M., 2010 (May 4) Plocamopherus ocellatus from Iran [1]. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Mahdi,

This is Plocamopherus ocellatus. This rarely reported species was one of the earliest species described from the Indian Ocean. It was first found in the Red Sea and named in 1828. Since then there have been few reported sightings. Strangely, we only have records on the Forum of animals reported from Mediterranean waters [see Lessepsian migration]. Your photos are our first record from the Indian Ocean.

In some species of Plocamopherus [see P. ceylonicus] the large papillae on each side of the body have a large rounded tip - often pink or brown - which luminesces when the animal is startled. I have included a close-up showing a similar tip in your animals - though not has swollen.

I have also added a close-up showing a Y - shaped mark on the back behind the gills. This is equivalent to the edge of the mantle skirt found in many dorid nudibranchs.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2010 (May 4). Comment on Plocamopherus ocellatus from Iran [1] by Mahdi Moradi Och Tapeh. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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