Known from northern Papua New Guinea (Madang), Guam and Hawaii.
15 m depth, "Three Tables", Hawaii, 1980, dorsal view of 22 mm specimen, Photo: S. Johnson (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 8H).
Notes compiled from Brunckhorst, 1993:
Diagnostic external features of Phyllidiopsis sphingis are: the low white ridges and intervening black stripes mid dorsally; a U-shaped black band around the perimeter of the median area; black rays extending to the mantle edge; iridescent blue coloration on the broad mantle margin; cream to pale yellow rhinophores; cream coloration ventrally; dark grey gills.
This species is superficially similar to Phyllidiopsis annae and Phyllidiopsis striata. However, P. striata has a white mantle skirt without black rays, lemon yellow rhinophores and grey ventral coloration. Phyllidiopsis annae has granular blue, median ridges and mantle margin (white median ridges in P. sphingis) but has neither white coloration, nor black rays on the margin, and possesses black rhinophores with 14-17 lamellae on their clavus (rhinophores cream with 7-10 lamellae on each rhinophoral clavus in the present species). Phyllidiopsis annae has dark grey oral tentacles whereas those of the present species are pale cream.
• Brunckhorst, D.J. (1993) The systematics and phylogeny of Phyllidiid Nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107.
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (August 1) Phyllidiopsis sphingis Brunckhorst, 1993. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/phylsphi
Phyllidiopsis sphingis from Northern Mariana Ids
From: Harry Blalock, August 25, 2007
Phyllidiopsis sphingis from the Coral Sea?
From: Paul Osmond, December 5, 2003
Phyllidiopsis sphingis? from the Philippines
From: Erwin Koehler, June 26, 2001