Noumea? sp 2 from the Red Sea

May 8, 2006
From: Binyamin Koretz

Hi Bill,

This little fellow seems quite similar to the one in Lindsay Warren's message (#2188) from Sulawesi, which you designated as Noumea? sp 2.

Locality: Eilat, Yatush Area, 28m, Israel, Red Sea (Gulf of Eilat), 31 March 2006, sea grass and patch reef. Length: 7 mm. Photographer: Binyamin Koretz.


Koretz, B., 2006 (May 8) Noumea? sp 2 from the Red Sea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Binyamin,
It is indeed Noumea? sp. 2. As I said in earlier messages, I have a vague feeling I have seen a painting of this in an old book, so I went for a bit of a hunt. I didn't find what I think I was looking for but I did find the painting alongside in a paper by Pruvot-Fol (1933: Plate 1, fig 9) on animals from the Red Sea collected by Robert Dollfus [after who the spectacular Hypselodoris dollfusi is named].

It does not solve the identity of Noumea? sp. 2 , but it does illustrate some of the problems we face identifying old names. Pruvot-Fol specifically states that the colours of the animals in her colour plate are the colours of the animals after preservation in formalin. How long they had been in formalin she does not say, but as they were collected in 1928 it could have been anything up to three or four years. So the only similarity I guess between your animals and her painting is the probability that the white spots in her painting have not changed. I cant be altogether confident about that though, because some colours fade quickly in preservative, and all we can say about an opaque white spot like this in a preserved animal is that before preservation it was a pigmented spot - but it could have been purple or red or perhaps yellow. Pruvot-Fol tentatively identified it as Goniobranchus albomaculatus Pease, 1866 [see message #13232] but considered it was different enough to warrant a special name as a 'variety' - Glossodoris albomaculata var erythraea. Unfortunately there is not enough information in her radula description to decide what genus her animal belonged to so I guess the name should be considered what we call a nomen nudum [= nude name] - a name without enough information to make sense of.

I am pretty sure your animal is not Pruvot-Fol's but whether it is or not I think we will need to start again.

  • Pruvot-Fol, A., (1933) Mission Robert Ph. Dollfus en Egypte. Opisthobranchiata. Memoires de l'Institut d'Egypte, 21: 89-159, pls. 1-4.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (May 8). Comment on Noumea? sp 2 from the Red Sea by Binyamin Koretz. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Noumea? sp. 2.

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