Fryeria menindie laying eggs

June 7, 2005
From: Michelle Tay & Jeffree Shahrizal

Good day Bill,
Phyllidia species are so common in the waters of Tioman that divers who dive here a lot, stop noticing them. Here is one we found laying eggs on a rock face. Is this Phyllidia coelestis?

Locality:  Soyak Island, off north Tioman Island, Pahang, Malaysia, South China Sea. Depth: 11 metres. Length: 7 cm. 4 June 2005. On rock face of giant boulder of small islet surrounded by coral garden. Photographer: Michelle Tay

Thank you,
Michelle & Jeff

Tay, M. & Shahrizal, J., 2005 (Jun 7) Fryeria menindie laying eggs. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

NOTE added 14 July 2006: Fryeria menindie (Brunckhorst, 1993) was shown by Yonow, 1996 to be a junior synonym of Fryeria picta Pruvot-Fol. Animals previously identified as F. menindie on the Forum have been moved to Fryeria picta.

Dear Michelle & Jeff,
It looks a bit like Phyllidia coelestis but it is Fryeria menindie. Species of Fryeria have the anus opening posteriorly below the mantle skirt, rather than on a papillae in the dorsal midline. Some experts consider this difference to be unimportant and consider species of the genus Fryeria should be placed in Phyllidia as well.

Even though some species of the phyllidiids are quite common, we know very little about their biology. If you find them feeding on a particular sponge - often noticeable by a patch in the sponge of a different colour - or laying eggs, I would appreciate some photos. Although its difficult to be sure if an egg mass actually belongs to a particular slug if it is not actually caught laying, this egg mass looks like the few phyllidiid egg ribbons I have seen.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Jun 7). Comment on Fryeria menindie laying eggs by Michelle Tay & Jeffree Shahrizal. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Fryeria picta

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