Siphopteron cf. nigromarginatum from Japan

August 1, 2001
From: Nishina Masayoshi

Dear Dr.Rudman,
I think this animal is Siphopteron brunneomarginatum. It is rare in Sagami Bay but rather common at Hachijo although it is very seasonal. We usually are able to see it between June to Sep. I found two together on some green algae. This is one of them which I moved temporarily to photograph.

Date: 1 July, 2001
Place Hachijo Island, Japan
Depth: 7m
Size: 8-10mm

Best Regards,
Nishina Masayoshi

Nishina, M., 2001 (Aug 1) Siphopteron cf. nigromarginatum from Japan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Nishina,
These little gastropterids seem quite difficult to identify. I think we still have quite a lot to learn about their colour variation. I don't think this animal is Siphopteron brunneomarginatum. In Carlson & Hoff's description they say it is a uniform yellow with a dark brown parapodial border, dark brown tip to the siphon, dark brown flagellum and a dark brown line across the visceral hump. I think your animal is closer in colour to S. nigromarginatum Gosliner, 1989, which is similarly coloured but differs in having black rather than dark brown markings and having a less uniform background colour to the body. Gosliner describes the background colour as:
"The general body colour is pale yellowish white to lemon yellow. Scattered orange mottlings may be present on the head shield and visceral hump...."
This seems to fit the colour of your animals a lot better.

There are a number of species which are yellow with black markings so it is possible you have been finding more than one species. Hopefully Terry Gosliner and Clay Carlson can give us their opinion on your animal.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Aug 1). Comment on Siphopteron cf. nigromarginatum from Japan by Nishina Masayoshi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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  5. Re: Siphopteron from Japan
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