December 21, 1999
From: Wolfgang Seifarth
I am sending you a pic (attached) from a recent dive trip to Ellaidhoo, Ari Atoll, Maldives, where I found this small sea cucumber which obviously mimicks the phyllidiid sea slug Phyllidia varicosa. The specimen observed
had a size of about 2 cm (in a depth of about 8 m on coral rubble) indicating that it is probably a juvenile form of a holothuroid echinoderm (see mouth tentacles at the right end).
I think it is very interesting that not only flatworms but also holothuroids are mimicking sea slugs!
Merry christmas and a happy new year!
Wolfgang.Seifarth@urz.uni-heidelberg.deSeifarth, W., 1999 (Dec 21) Holothurian Phyllidia mimic. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/1695
Thanks for the best wishes and thanks for the wonderful photo.
You are right in surmising that this is a juvenile holothurian. Even more interesting is that this species, Bohadschia graeffei, changes colour from juvenile to adult. It starts life as a brightly coloured mimic of very distasteful phyllidiid nudibranchs, such as Phyllidia varicosa and P. coelestis, but when it grows larger than phyllidiids grow, it gradually changes to a camouflaged mottled white and brown colour more typical of other species of the genus Bohadschia.
There are some photos of the intermediate and adult stages in Gosliner, Behrens & Williams (1996) Coral reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific.
Bill Rudman.Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Dec 21). Comment on Holothurian Phyllidia mimic by Wolfgang Seifarth. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/1695
Holothurian phyllidiid mimic
From: Valérie Besnard, May 18, 2005
Flatworm mimic of Chromodoris magnifica
From: Mary Jane Adams, January 19, 2004
Bohadschia / Pearsonothuria
From: Bob Bolland, January 8, 2004
Bohadschia graffei as mimic of Phyllidia varicosa
From: Rosalind Day, October 17, 2003
Re: Phyllidia varicosa mimic
From: Marina Poddubetskaia, March 24, 2003
Phyllidia varicosa mimic
From: Rosalind Day, November 15, 2002
From: Erwin Koehler, May 18, 2002
Why do some nudibranchs share the same colour patterns?
From: joe, March 13, 2002
Nudibranch & Flatworm mimicry
From: Adam Brown, March 5, 2002
Is this fish a Sea Slug Mimic?
From: Mark McGrouther , May 2, 2000
About Mimicry & flatworms
From: Christine, July 11, 1999
Mimicry topic continued
From: Michael D. Miller, April 15, 1999
From: Mike Miller, April 7, 1999
Mimicry: Flatworm & C. geometrica
From: Michael Miller, January 15, 1999
More Phyllidiella mimic pics
From: Michael Miller , December 3, 1998
A case of mimicry
From: Wayne Ellis, June 25, 1998