Nembrotha sp. 4 from Sulawesi

July 27, 2000
From: Lindsay Warren

Dear Bill

Last year I sent you an illustration of a blue and orange Nembrotha found in SE Sulawesi but for which we unfortunately did not have any photos. Luckily, another was found during last year's survey period and I have attached the photo which you might like to use on the Forum.

This specimen was found by Dean Lea at a depth of 5 m on 3 August 1999 at 21:30 on algae encrusted dead table coral on Pulau Hoga, Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia (Operation Wallacea).  L: 5 mm.  Photo: Lindsay Warren.

All the best

Warren, L., 2000 (Jul 27) Nembrotha sp. 4 from Sulawesi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lindsay,
A few days ago I posted some photos of yours of what I suspect could be a juvenile of Nembrotha kubaryana. I have copied one of them alongside my reply.

The markings are remarkably similar to those of your blue animal, and there are traces of blue on the green animal [see on the rhinophore sheath]. I think it is worth considering whether these are all growth stages of Nembrotha kubaryana. If the blue animals are juveniles, perhaps they are taking up pigment from a blue ascidian that they are feeding on and change colour on moving to a larger species of ascidian as they grow. I have no solid evidence to go on but the size of each colour form fits and the colour patterns of the larger animals can be easily derived from smaller ones. It would certainly be an interesting hypothesis to test.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jul 27). Comment on Nembrotha sp. 4 from Sulawesi by Lindsay Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Nembrotha sp. 4.

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