Philinopsis pilsbryi found sthn Queensland

August 2, 2007
From: Gary Cobb

Hi Bill and everyone!
Well it was an unexpected visit to say the least. Behind my unit is a waterway that heads out to Mooloolaba and the breakwater. When I came to the water's edge I noticed what appeared to be a slug. It was then I realized it was Philinopsis pilsbryi... not one but hundreds! Including egg masses. The colour variations were incredible.

Locality: Mooloolaba Sunshine Coast, 100mm- along the shore line, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 26 July 2007, Intertidal. Length: 20-55 mm. Photographer: Gary Cobb.

Gary Cobb

Cobb, G.C., 2007 (Aug 2) Philinopsis pilsbryi found sthn Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Gary,
Thanks for this wonderful display of colour variation. When  first saw your photo of the colour variation I wondered how you had trained them to line up so neatly, then I realised you had arranged them with a bit of digital technology, which I have also used to pack them a bit closer together.

Your message is a perfect illustration of the point I made in answering Nur Leena Wong's question [message #20323 ] about whether Chelidonura pallida was a rare or uncommon species. I have never considered P. pilsbryi to be a common species. I have found it quite often but always in ones or twos. On the other hand I have found large concentrations of other aglajids, such as Philinopsis cyanea, Chelidonura sandrana, C. fulvipunctata, C. electra, and C. inornata.  Your find of P. pilsbryi in large numbers just illustrates how difficult it is to label a species as common or rare.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Aug 2). Comment on Philinopsis pilsbryi found sthn Queensland by Gary Cobb. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Philinopsis pilsbryi from the Solomon Islands
    From: Barbara Hanchard, August 7, 2008
  2. Philinopsis pilsbryi found Vanuatu
    From: Leanne & David Atkinson, June 4, 2008
  3. Philinopsis pilsbryi from Milne Bay, PNG
    From: Clinton Bauder, July 18, 2007
  4. Pink-eyed Philinopsis
    From: Brian Francisco, March 16, 2006
  5. Two 'bubble shells' from Indonesia
    From: Wendy Atkinson, November 9, 2005
  6. Philinopsis pilsbryi from Pulau Aur, Malaysia (2)
    From: Barbara Phua, October 2, 2002
  7. Philinopsis pilsbryi? from the Philippines
    From: Erwin Koehler, June 6, 2001
  8. Philinopsis pilsbryi from Hawaii
    From: Scott Johnson, July 31, 2000
  9. Philinopsis pilsbryi from Marshall Ids
    From: Scott Johnson, July 31, 2000

Show factsheet and all related messages