Plocamopherus from Philippines

May 25, 1999
From: Mike Miller

Dear Bill

You will find attached two photos of an animal encountered at Dauin, Negros
Oriental, Philippines on a recent field trip. The presence of posterior lateral bulbs would seem to place the critter in the genus Plocamopherus, but the identity question seems to get a little fuzzy from that point on based on what pictures I could find of Plocamopherus imperialis!

Care to speculate?

Mike Miller

Miller, M.D., 1999 (May 25) Plocamopherus from Philippines. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Note added 28 May 2009: This has been named Plocamopherus maculapodium, See message # 22501.

Dear Mike,
Certainly has the hallmark of a Plocamopherusbut not quite the colour or shape of Plocamopherus imperialis which seems to be endemic to southeastern Australia.

Your species could possibly be Plocamopherus fulgurans Risbec, 1928, described from New Caledonia. The colour painting (Plate IV fig 4) - which I copy alongside - has similarities, but I'm afraid that many of Risbec's paintings, done by his father, don't bear much relationship to Risbec's written descriptions. The written description describes a brownish-yellow body with transparent whitish papillae and he does describe the main anatomical features. The white medial dorsal line behind the gills is the same as in your photos. Unfortunately we will probably never be sure.

To my knowledge, Risbec was the first to report the ability of Plocamopherus to produce light from the dorsolateral papillae.

Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (May 25). Comment on Plocamopherus from Philippines by Mike Miller. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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