Philine trapezia
Hedley, 1902

Family: Philinidae


Tropical Indo-West Pacific.


Minnie Waters, E of Grafton, northern New South Wales, November 1977. 6mm long alive. PHOTO: Bill Rudman.

Originally described from a shell, collected in Sydney Harbour, the bright orange animal of this tiny species of Philine is not uncommon in intertidal algal turf along the coast of New South Wales in eastern Australia. I have also collected it in New Caledonia and Tanzania. In the photo the large mantle foramen allows much of the shell to be exposed. This is almost certainly the same as Philine caledonica Risbec, 1951 from New Caledonia. As Risbec notes, specimens exude a yellowish secretion when disturbed, similar to the yellow gland secretion of the aglajids. Gosliner (1988) has described the very similar P. rubrata Gosliner, 1988 from Aldabra Atoll and Papua New Guinea, and Baba reports it also from Japan.

• Hedley, C. (1902). Studies on Australian Mollusca, part 5. Proc. Linn. Soc. NSW, 26: 700-708.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (December 18) Philine trapezia Hedley, 1902. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from