Holothurian phyllidiid mimic

May 18, 2005
From: Valérie Besnard

Dear Bill,
During a stay in Kenya (March 2005), I've seen this sea slug that I couldn't identify: probably a  Phyllidia sp. probably, but which one ???
Diani, Mombasa south, Kenya. 14 March 2005, size 4 cm, depth 15m, coral reef. Photo: Valérie Besnard
Thank you very much for your help !
Best regards,


Besnard, V., 2005 (May 18) Holothurian phyllidiid mimic. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13782

Dear Valérie,
Yes this does look like a phyllidiid but actually it is a juvenile sea cucumber. It's name is Bohadschia graeffei [or perhaps Pearsonothuria graeffei], and when juvenile it has this colourful phase, but as it grows it becomes a typical boring brownish sea cucmber. Have a look at the messages attached to the  Mimicry Fact Sheet for more discussion on the animal.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (May 18). Comment on Holothurian phyllidiid mimic by Valérie Besnard. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13782



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