Pleurobranchus peroni mating?

May 4, 2006
From: James Spears

Is it safe for me to assume the two Polygon Pleurobranchs are mating/about to/finished in the attached photo?

Locality: Maui, Hawaii, 60 feet, US, Pacific, 7 April 2006, patch reef. Length: unknown. Photographer: Jim Spears.

Jim Spears

Spears, J., 2006 (May 4) Pleurobranchus peroni mating?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jim,
The polygonal markings seem to be very distinctive in Hawaiian specimens of Pleurobranchus peroni. I have already discussed today [see message #16517] why I don't like using common names so I won't bore you again.

Concerning the apparent mating. I have looked very carefully at your photo and what I think is happening is that there is only one animal and it is casting off part of its mantle (left side). Some opisthobranchs can cast off part of their bodies like this [see Autotomy Fact Sheet] much like some lizards can drop their tails. There is another pleurobranch, Berthella martensi, which seems to do it more than most other pleurobranchs. I can't recall seeing P. peroni doing this before, but that may be my memory letting me down.

It is an interesting photo
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (May 4). Comment on Pleurobranchus peroni mating? by James Spears. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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