Fryeria picta from Sabah, Malaysia

July 4, 2007
From: Richard Swann

Hi Bill
I was wondering if these were possibly variations of Phyllidia ocellata? I noticed in one of my books Nudibranches and Sea Snails by Debelius he discribes Fryeria ruppellii (page 271) that shows a lot of similarities to my images including one small tubercle directly behind each rhinophore however he states my region isn't correct. I tried putting this name into your forum search but had no joy has there been a name change for this species ?
I have attached two images taken this year around the Kota Kinabalu area.

Locality: Tunku Abdul Rahman park, 18meters, Sabah, Borneo, South China Sea, January and February 2007, Fringing reef . Length: Approx two inches. Photographer: Richard Swann.

Many thanks for your time

Swann, R., 2007 (Jul 4) Fryeria picta from Sabah, Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Richard,

This is Fryeria picta, a species which used to be called F. menindie on the Forum. The small tubercle behind each rhinophore has been called a rhinotubercle by Dave Brunckhorst, and is found in all species of Phyllidia and Fryeria. The reason you didn't find Fryeria ruppellii is because it is spelt Fryeria rueppelii. I'm afraid you have to be careful of species named after Rueppel because he changed the spelling of his name a number of times and others often got it wrong as well. See message #1998 where I discuss this in some detail. Amazingly the spelling you used is the only one of 7 or 8 possible alternatives that I didn't list.

So how do you find things on the Forum if you are not sure of the correct spelling. In this case I would have gone to the Species List and used Ctl-F [or whatever you do with your browser to search a web page] and looked for Fryeria. You would have found the species under its slightly different spelling. If the list of  Fryeria species was long then you could have searched for Fryeria r  to speed things up.

Another way is to go to the Taxonomic search facility on the Forum and search for Fryeria or Fryeria r.

Sorry if this is a bit longwinded but it was an opportunity to explain some ways of searching on the Forum. The other type of search - Citation Search - is for when you have just the message number [such as #1998] or the filename of a Fact Sheet - perhaps you have written down a url or have a citation from a printed paper. All you have to do is put the number or filename in the Citation search box. I use it all the time.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Jul 4). Comment on Fryeria picta from Sabah, Malaysia by Richard Swann. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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