Phyllodesmium macphersonae from sthn Queensland

August 6, 2008
From: Gary Cobb

Concerning message #15896:

Hi Bill and everyone!
Here are some records of Phyllodesmium macphersonae found here on the Sunshine Coast. This species is fairly common here as we have discovered at Old Woman island, on the bottom, mixed sand and rock 15m.
The interesting thing is that all the animals we have found here have 'forked' cerata. An accessory papilla always toward the anterior end.

Locality: Old Woman Island, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, 15 m, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 01 December 2007, Subtidal. Length: 6-18 mm. Photographer: Gary Cobb.

Gary Cobb

Cobb, G.C., 2008 (Aug 6) Phyllodesmium macphersonae from sthn Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Gary,

Thanks for these photos. As you can see from the brown patches, which are clusters of zooxanthellae, P. macphersonae is one of the species of Phyllodesmium which is solar powered. Those species we have information for get their zooxanthellae from the soft-corals on which they feed. However P. macphersonae remains a puzzle because we have never found it feeding, or even associated with a likely food item. Since you say it is quite common on the Sunshine Coast perhaps you could add it to your 'to do list' and see if you could photograph it with some likely food items.

Concerning the apparently 'branched' cerata. This is a trick of the photographs. This species has the cerata in each row almost exactly underneath the ones above. What you can see here are the tips of the lower cerata poking out from under the uppermost ceras in each row.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Aug 6). Comment on Phyllodesmium macphersonae from sthn Queensland by Gary Cobb. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Re: Phyllodesmium macphersonae from sthn Queensland
    From: Gary Cobb, August 8, 2008
  2. Phyllodesmium macphersonae from Jervis Bay
    From: Leander Wiseman, February 22, 2006
  3. Re: Phyllodesmium from Jervis Bay
    From: Sue Newson, October 7, 2005
  4. Phyllodesmium macphersonae? from Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia
    From: Paul Osmond, October 5, 2005
  5. Phyllodesmium macphersonae - first feeding record
    From: John Chuk, January 25, 2002
  6. Phyllodesmium macphersonae? from Japan
    From: Nishina Masayoshi, September 20, 2001
  7. Phyllodesmium macphersonae from Sydney
    From: Erik Schloegl, April 30, 2001

Show factsheet and all related messages