Armina maculata or Phyllidia flava

May 31, 2006
From: Dominique Horst

I am confused to identify the following one. In most of books specialized in the Mediterranean sea, only Armina maculata is defined. Having a look to your site and others, it appears that Phyllidia flava fits more.
If you could help to determine which one it is, that would be great.

Locality: Port-Cros, 35m, France, Mediterranean sea, 20 May 2006, rocks. Length: 10-12mm. Photographer: Eric Poisson.

Many thanks in advance.

Horst, D., 2006 (May 31) Armina maculata or Phyllidia flava. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Dominique,
From the general color and shape I would say this is Phyllidia flava. There are also two specific features which we can see in your photo which confirms it is not Armina. Firstly, if you look at the rhinophores [head tentacles] in the photo alongside you will see diagonal lines which indicate closely packed horizontal leaflets, charcteristic of a dorid nudibranch. In arminids, any leaflets or ridges are perpendicular. Another difference is that in dorids with a mantle skirt, the skirt goes around the front of the rhinophores, above the head as we can see in your photo [see dorid head]. In arminids, the mantle skirt stops at the level of the rhinophores.

Hope that helps
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (May 31). Comment on Armina maculata or Phyllidia flava by Dominique Horst. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Phyllidia flava

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