Aeolidia helicochorda? from Malaysia

June 21, 2001
From: Nishina Masayoshi

Dear Dr.Rudman,
Thank you very much for the answer for the my wife's question. We both understood your explanation.

This animal with beautiful cerata is found at Mabul Is. Borneo, Malaysia which we visited at the end of May, 2001. At first, I thought this animal is a kind of aeolid or maybe it's maybe Berghia major because of the shape and color of the cerata. This animal has pink long tail and twisted rhinophores. I didn't know that Berghia has twisted rhinophores. Another possibility is it's a kind of Janolus? but Janolus does not have such long oral tentacles as this animal, so is it a kind of Eubranchus? What is this?

The body and cerata color are more whitish and translucent then photo. I found this animal at night diving so the color is yellowish because of the strong flashlight that my wife used. Size about 2.5cm.

Other Data
2 June 2001, at house reef of Mabul Island. It was at about 6M depth where it was moving on a kind of fire coal surrounded by the rocky reef. Water Temp: 28-29C degree.

Sincerely yours,
Nishina Masayoshi,

Nishina, M., 2001 (Jun 21) Aeolidia helicochorda? from Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Note added 13 Jan 2003: This is almost certainly Facelina rhodopos. See Nishina Masayoshi's message.

Dear Nishina,
Your animal looks very much like Aeolidia helicochorda. If it is that species it is rather interesting because it has only been recorded from northern New Zealand and southeastern Australia previously. One difference are the rhinophores. You describe them as twisted. The photo is not that clear but they seem to be lamellate in your photo, quite like the shape in the photo at the top of the page of an Australian specimen. The other difference is that they lack the brown colour of the Australian animals. I would be grateful for any further information you have on the shape of the rhinophores.

If your animals is the same it would appear that it is a tropical species which occasionally visits southeastern Australia and New Zealand.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Jun 21). Comment on Aeolidia helicochorda? from Malaysia by Nishina Masayoshi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Facelina rhodopos

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