Phyllodesmium poindimiei from New South Wales

July 3, 1999
From: Grey McNeil

Dear Bill,
Could you identify this photo please. The details are:
FLY PT., NELSON BAY, Port Stephens, NSW, eastern Australia, 4m, March 1998, 2cm long.

Grey McNeil.

McNeil, G., 1999 (Jul 3) Phyllodesmium poindimiei from New South Wales. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Grey,
This is Phyllodesmium poindimiei. It is one of a genus of soft-coral feeding aeolids. If you look at the Species List you will find a number of other species of Phyllodesmium which illustrate the diversity in the genus. Some species feed on soft-corals which have microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues. These slugs have evolved the ability to keep the zooxanthellae alive in their bodies and to take the sugars and other nutrients they produce for their own use. Have a look at the page on Solar Powered Sea Slugs for more information.

Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Jul 3). Comment on Phyllodesmium poindimiei from New South Wales by Grey McNeil. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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