Phyllodesmium poindimiei? from Sydney

June 18, 2000
From: P.Zylstra & H.Rothenfluh


We were wondering if this is a Phyllodesmium poindimiei? We didn't know whether it was a sea slug or not when we took the photo. We found it in about 13 m at Sutherland Point, Kurnell in Sydney on 16/6/00. It was about 2 cm long -- there were two more nearby.

Paula Zylstra
Harry Rothenfluh

Zylstra, P. & Rothenfluh, H., 2000 (Jun 18) Phyllodesmium poindimiei? from Sydney. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Paula & Harry,
Yes this is Phyllodesmium poindimiei. The orange telestacean soft-coral (Carijoa sp.) it is on in your photo seems to be its preferred food, at least in New South Wales.

There is some more information on P. poindimiei at the top of this page. The genus Phyllodesmium includes some spectacularly shaped aeolids which 'farm' single-celled plants in their bodies and use the sugars they produce for their own nutrition. P. poindimiei is not one of these but if you are interested, have a look at the page on solar powered nudibranchs for more information.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jun 18). Comment on Phyllodesmium poindimiei? from Sydney by P.Zylstra & H.Rothenfluh. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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