Phyllidiella lizae from the Coral Sea

October 3, 2005
From: Marc Saunders

Dear Dr. Rudman,

Here is a second species from our dive on Big Dipper, an extended system of reef and bommies on the outer GBR straight out from Townsville.

Locality: Big Dipper, outer Great Barrier Reef , east of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Coral Sea. Depth: 12 m. Length: 1.5 cm. 20 April 2005. Photographer: Marc Saunders.

Marc Saunders

Saunders, M., 2005 (Oct 3) Phyllidiella lizae from the Coral Sea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Marc,
This is a species of Phyllidiella. Unfortunately there are a group of species which tend to merge from one to another. This could be a form of the very common Phyllidiella pustulosa or possibly Phyllidiella lizae. From the distinctive black X mark on the mantle, I think this is P. lizae, a view supported by the tubercles which are considered as 'single' rather than 'compound' in this species. One sure way to differentiate them is that in P. pustulosa the rhinophores are black, while in P. lizae, there are three bands - an apical black one, then a pink central band, and a white basal one, Unfortunately in your photo the rhinophores are partly contracted so this detail is not available. I suspect this is Phyllidiella lizae but I can't be 100% sure.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Oct 3). Comment on Phyllidiella lizae from the Coral Sea by Marc Saunders. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Phyllidiella lizae

Related messages

  1. Phyllidiella lizae from Sulawesi
    From: Sebastian Ferse, June 6, 2007
  2. Phyllidiella hageni ? from Fiji
    From: Lindsay Warren, May 21, 2007
  3. Phyllidiella lizae from Indonesia
    From: Yasman, October 5, 2003
  4. Phyllidiella lizae from Vanuatu
    From: Vinka Stenhouse, December 20, 1999

Show factsheet and all related messages