Phidiana hiltoni
O'Donoghue, 1927

Family: Glaucidae


Central coast of California to Baja California, Mexico, Gulf of Mexico.


Bruce Wight.

Grows to 50mm. Feeds on hydroids, including Hydractinia, and attacks other aeolids.

The original description was based on a preserved specimen, the colour notes of the living animal stating merely that the body colour was 'light' and the cerata "dark". MacDonald, 1983 felt there was enough anatomical information in this original description to identify O'Donoghue's species with the later, but much more appropriate, name Phidiana pugnax Lance, 1962.

This species has a reputation for pugnaceous behaviour, [hence the name pugnax] biting and fighting with other aeolids, including others of its own kind. See Bruce Wights' photos below.

  • McDonald, G. R. (1983) A review of the nudibranchs of the California coast. Malacologia, 24(1-2): 114-276.
  • O'Donoghue, C. H. (1927) Notes on a collection of nudibranchs from Laguna Beach, California. Journal of Entomology & Zoology, Pomona College, 19(1-4): 77-119, pls. 1-3.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (July 15) Phidiana hiltoni O'Donoghue, 1927. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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