Noumea sp. 2? from Sulawesi

July 19, 2000
From: Lindsay Warren

Dear Bill
Rich Smith found this specimen on 3 June 1999 at a depth of 19.6 m on a sponge covered in algae where it was gliding along.  This was on Pulau Kaledupa  [Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia - Operation
].  Size: 6mm.  Photo: Lindsay Warren

It is similar to the earlier animal from Sulawesi which you posted on 4 April as Noumea? sp. 2 but it lacks the
red spots.  It is in fact closer to Valda Fraser's photo which you posted on the same page the next day.  The body is deep pink with a pale cream mantle margin and irregular patches on the notum.  The gill plume has five branches. There is a pale pink stripe towards the top of the lamellate retractile rhinophores which are white / translucent.  The foot is also pink with pale cream patches on it.  There is some similarity to Glossodoris sp (photo 116) on page 78 of Terry Gosliners' Nudibranchs of Southern Africa.

What are your thoughts on this?

All the best

Warren, L., 2000 (Jul 19) Noumea sp. 2? from Sulawesi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lindsay,
I am glad you asked for my thoughts, rather than an answer. I was just thinking today that 'publishing' on the Forum is quite diferent from formal publication in print. In formal publishing the author is in complete control. They can choose the species they will discuss and leave out those that are 'unfinished business'. This gives the impression of an efficient scientist with all the answers. One of the values of the Forum is that it shows to the world the our science is largely 'unfinished business' and we still have much to discover.

This animal is a good example. From your earlier specimen it would have been reasonable to assume that red spots around the border was a good character for the species. However Valda's photo, and now yours, suggest that red spots are optional. Obviously only the anatomy can tell us, but I woud suspect that all these are the same species. If you look carefully, there are a pair of red spots at the front of the mantle, and a pair behind the gills. Both these pairs of spots are in the spotted animal in your earlier message. It is certainly possible that Terry's animal is also a colour variant.

As I said to Valda earlier, I have a vague feeling I have seen a painting of this animal in an old publication - but where?

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jul 19). Comment on Noumea sp. 2? from Sulawesi by Lindsay Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Noumea? sp. 2.

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