Fryeria (?) with black line on sole

December 30, 2000
From: Yasman

Dear Bill,
At first, I thought that this was Phyllidia varicosa. After I took to the lab, I found this species has anus at the ventral (posterior) which is typical to genus of Fryeria. The black pattern on the blue grey back ground of body is also different from Phyllidia varicosa. But it is amazing that it has black line on the foot sole which typical for Phyllidia varicosa. What do you think??


Yasman, 2000 (Dec 30) Fryeria (?) with black line on sole. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Yasman,
It certainly looks like a juvenile Fryeria marinidica or a Phyllidia elegans. The position of the anus certainly suggests Fryeria. However the black line on the sole makes me think that you should look at its anatomy. There are differences described by Brunckhorst (1993) in the anatomy of the foregut and the reproductive system.

It is possible that the position of the anus is a result of damage to the body, perhaps by a fish. I was amazed in Lifou at how many of the phyllidiid specimens had considerable damage - mainly to the head end, sometimes resulting in one rhinophore, or a large shared rhinophore pocket. For animals with such an armoury of chemicals, some fish were evidently slow learners.

However, until you can confirm what genus your species belongs to there doesn't seem much point in speculating over whether you have a Phyllidia with an anus in the wrong place or a Fryeria with a black line on its sole. It is an interesting find.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Dec 30). Comment on Fryeria (?) with black line on sole by Yasman. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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