Phyllidia babai
Brunckhorst, 1993

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Phyllidiidae


Known from north-eastern Australia (Great Barrier Reef) and Papua New Guinea.


UPPER, MIDDLE: 18 m depth, North Point Reef, Lizard Island, GBR, 20 Nov. 1981, dorsal and ventral views respectively of 43 mm specimen, PHOTOS: Bill Rudman (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 3G,H);
LOWER: 12 m depth, sunken barrier reef, south-east of Port Moresby, PNG 20 Apr. 1984, dorsal view of 27 mm specimen, Photo: C. Carlson & P. Hoff (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 4A).

Notes compiled from Brunckhorst, 1993:
Phyllidia babai is closest to Phyllidia ocellata, but the two are distinct species. The characteristic features of P. babai include: the very pale yellow to cream dorsum; black rings with a central, white, conical tubercle; the fine yellow edge to the mantle; rhinophoral clavus possessing 21-24 lamellae; the rim of the rhinophoral pocket edged in white; pale cream-white ventral coloration; white pointed oral tentacles tipped in yellow with long lateral grooves. In contrast, P. ocellata possesses, a bright gold coloured dorsum with black patches bordered in white, and gold or white rounded tubercles, no contrasting colour on the mantle edge or rim of the rhinophoral pockets, 27-30 lamellae to the rhinophoral clavus, dark grey ventral coloration, dark grey oral tentacles with rounded ends tipped in yellow and short lateral grooves.

Phyllidia exquisita and Phyllidia willani are similar to the present species as they all have pale background coloration. P. exquisita has a yellow mantle margin but possesses longitudinal black and white areas and rounded tubercles. Unlike P. babai, P. willani has a granular, pale yellow dorsum with black lateral swirls and no yellow on the mantle margin.

Brunckhorst, D.J. (1993) The systematics and phylogeny of Phyllidiid Nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (January 12) Phyllidia babai Brunckhorst, 1993. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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