Syphonota geographica
(Adams & Reeve, 1850)

Superfamily: APLYSIOIDEA
Family: Aplysiidae


Indo-West Pacific & Atlantic. [Recorded here from Caribbean, and as a possible Lessepsian migrant to Mediterranean]


Lagoon between mainland & Récif de l'Infernet, 10-11m, off Koumac, New Caledonia, sand & grey mud, October 1993, many specimens seen,(58 - 99mm long alive). LOWER LEFT: showing range of colour variation. LOWER RIGHT: with parapodial flaps opened to show the mantle covering the shell and the posteriorly pointing exhalent siphon. The ring at the centre of the radiating green pattern on the mantle is the edge of the mantle 'foramen'. The foramen is a hole through to the cavity in which the shell sits. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

This circumtropical species can be distinguished from species of Aplysia by the position of the rhinophores, close together and set back between the parapodial lobes. They swim by flapping the parapodia. Also known as Paraplysia piperata (Smith, 1884) and Aplysia scripta Bergh, 1905. The name geographica refers to the map-like nature of the colour pattern and scripta also refers to the colour pattern, Bergh being reminded of Arabic writing.

• Adams, A. & Reeve, L. (1850). Mollusca, Part 3. In: Adams, A.(Ed.), The zoology of the voyage of the H.M.S. Samarang; under the command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, C.B., F.R.A.S., F.G.S., during the years 1843-1846. pp. 45-87, Pls 17-24. Reeve, Benham & Reeve: London.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (May 26) Syphonota geographica (Adams & Reeve, 1850). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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