Fryeria? from Rarotonga

May 31, 2006
From: Graham McDonald

Kia orana Bill,
Oone more before I call it a night.

Locality: Ngatangiia, 8 metres, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, South Pacific, 20 April 2002, Coral reef. Length: 20 mm. Photographer: Graham McDonald.


McDonald, G, 2006 (May 31) Fryeria? from Rarotonga. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

NOTE: 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 Graham,
This a phyllidiid but sometimes a photo of the dorsal surface is not enough in this family. Species of this family have lost the typical circlet of gills found in most dorid nudibranchs, and instead have a series of secondary gill leaflets on the underside of the mantle skirt. However, what I am looking for in this case is any sign of an anal papillae in the posterior midline, because there are two possibilities, Fryeria menindie or Phyllidia madangensis. Of these, the Fryeria as the anus hidden below the mantle skirt, while the Phyllidia has it visible in the posterior midline. I can't see any sign of it in your photo, but as it will be black, like the background colour so it is very difficult to see even in live animals.

My guess is that your animal is a colour form of Fryeria menindie, but I can't be 100% sure.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (May 31). Comment on Fryeria? from Rarotonga by Graham McDonald. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Fryeria picta

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