(Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828)
Throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific.
UPPER RIGHT: (upper photo)- Dorsal view of pale colour form, Mbudya Is, off Kunduchi Beach, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 80mm long,, June 1973. (Lower photo)- Right side view showing large gill, Fumba, Zanzibar, Tanzania, July 1971.
LOWER LEFT: Colour variation in animals from large population in sea-grass beds, Fumba, Zanzibar, Tanzania, July 1971.
LOWER RIGHT: Koumac, New Caledonia, October 1993.
PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.
This relatively large pleurobranch is often found in quite large populations in shallow lagoons, reef crests and pools and sea grass beds. It usually grows to about 10cm long but can grow to over 30cm. I know of no feeding reports for this species, but other species of Pleurobranchus are reported to feed on ascidians. While I was in Tanzania, a colleague, asked me if I had any idea of the identity of a pile of about 40 strange chitinous plates he had found in the stomach of a turtle. They were easily identifiable as the jaw plates of Pleurobranchus forskalii. As these photos show, this species is very variable in colour. The light brown colour form was originally described as a distinct species, Pleurobranchus semperi but anatomically it is identical to the dark purple-brown animals originally described as P. forskalii
In the above photo you can see the large gill, which as in all notaspids, is found on the right side of the body in the gap between the mantle and the foot. This is why some authors use the common name "Side-gilled Slugs" for this group of opisthobranchs.
• Ruppell, E. & Leuckart, F.S. (1828). Neue wirbellose Thiere des Rothen Meeres. Atlas zu der Reise im nordlichen Afrika von Eduard Ruppell: 1-22.
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (March 9) Pleurobranchus forskalii (Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/pleufors
Pleurobranchus forskalii from Singapore
From: Ron Yeo, March 28, 2008
Pleurobranchus forskalii from Indonesia
From: Mirjam Broos, February 15, 2007
From: Mark Schaer, June 20, 2006
A pleurobranch from Saipan
From: Takao Urasawa, August 19, 2005
Re: Mystery slug from Malaysia
From: Jimmy Goh, May 10, 2005
Large pleurobranch from Malaysia
From: Alphonsus Jude Joseph, April 28, 2005
Is this a sea slug?
From: Dominic Rutherford, February 2, 2005
Pleurobranchus forskalii from Lizard Is
From: Nils Anthes, January 10, 2004
Pleurobranchus forskalii from Sabah
From: Asther M. Lau, July 23, 2003
Pleurobranchus forskalii from South China Sea
From: Audrey Koh, May 9, 2003
Re: Mystery slug from Malaysia
From: Michael Smith , March 27, 2003
Mystery slug from Malaysia
From: Michael Smith, March 26, 2003
Pleurobranchus forskalii from Lord Howe Island
From: W.B. Rudman, January 28, 2003
Pleurobranchus forskalii from Solomons
From: Bruce Potter, July 14, 2002
Pleurobranchus forskalii from South Africa
From: Valda Fraser, January 3, 2001
Pleurobranchus synonyms in South Africa
From: Ernest C.J. Seamark, June 17, 2000
Spanish Dancer with white eggs?
From: Jan Reyniers, April 6, 2000
Re: Notaspidean defensive secretions
From: Bill Rudman, May 14, 1999
Pleurobranch acid secretions
From: Rhanor Gillette, May 6, 1999
Skin secretions in Pleurobranchus forskalii
From: Clay Bryce, April 30, 1999
Pleurobranchus forskalii, P. peroni
From: K. Koyanagi, April 29, 1999
Pleurobranchus forskalii in South Africa
From: Ernest C.J. Seamark, April 17, 1999
Opisthobranchs from Durban, South Africa
From: Ernest Seamark, March 13, 1999