(Alder & Hancock, 1864)
Khorfakkan, Gulf of Oman, east coast of United Arab Emirates. 15-22m. Approx 2cm long. Photo: Gordon T. Smith.
Characterised by the bright orange median line on the head which forks anteriorly, with a branch running up the anterior edge of each oral tentacle. Another orange line runs along the posterior edge of each oral tentacle and then runs along each side of the body below the cerata. The oral tentacles, rhinophores, tentacular foot corners and cerata are all tipped with yellow and there is a broad orange band on the rhinophores.
Originally described from India, it has been reported two or three times from India. The only other record I know of is from a photo, which seems to be of this species from Hong Kong.
• Alder, J. & Hancock, A. (1864) Notice of a collection of Nudibranchiate Mollusca made in India by Walter Elliot, Esq., with descriptions of several new genera and species. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 5: 113-147.
• Rudman, W.B. (1980) Aeolid opisthobranch molluscs (Glaucidae) from the Indian Ocean and the south-west Pacific. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 68: 139-172.
Rudman, W.B., 2001 (January 7) Phidiana militaris (Alder & Hancock, 1864). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/phidmili
November 4, 2009
From: Vishal Bhave
Locality: Bhandarpule, Maharashtra, India. October 2009. Length 28 mm
firstname.lastname@example.orgBhave, V., 2009 (Nov 4) Phidiana militaris from Maharashtra, India. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22755
Thanks for this photo. We are certainly building up a good idea of colour variability in this species.
September 7, 2009
From: Biju Kumar
I am attaching a photograph of Phidiana militaris (Alder & Hancock, 1864) that we collected from the southwest coast of India. Based on the information you provided in Sea Slug Forum, we have tried to identify them, with little expertise on sea slugs!
Kindly confirm the identification. As the shallow rocky pool areas of southwest coast of India are not surveyed seriously for associated biodiversity, there are possibilities of finding new distribution records from this region. We are currently working on preparing a marine biodiversity database for Kerala State of India.
One specimen was collected attached to the sea weed Sargassum sp.
Locality: Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean; Kovalam (Lat. 80 05' N; Long. 770 15' E), Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala State, India. Habitat: Sargassum sp. attached to the rock. Size: 1.8 cm Date: 22 June 2009
Dr. A. Biju Kumar
Dept. of Aquatic Biology & Fisheries
University of Kerala,
email@example.comKumar, B., 2009 (Sep 7) Re: Phidiana militaris from Kerala State, India. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22652
Yes this is Phidiana militaris. It is good to get another record from India. This species seems to be easily identified by the orange Y shaped pattern on the head.
March 16, 2009
From: Vishal J. Bhave.
This Phidiana militaris was found in a deep rockpool, approx 5.0 - 6.0 feet deep, but the slug was found at around 2.0 feet. It was browsing on some hydroids and alga (Sargassum sp.).
Locality: Black sea, Mandvi, Ratnagiri, 2.0 feet, Maharashtra, India, Arabian Sea / Indian ocean, [lat. - 16.9858, long. - 73.2730] 13 December 2008, Rock pool, rocky substratum, Intertidal,. Length: 3.5 cm. Photographer: Vishal Bhave.
firstname.lastname@example.orgBhave, V.J, 2009 (Mar 16) Phidiana militaris from Ratnagiri, India. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22328
This seldom reported species has a very striking colour pattern. It was first described from India. Alder & Hancock do not say why they called it 'militaris' but perhaps they were comparing the red colour to uniform of the British Colonial troops. Thanks for another record.
September 17, 2008
From: William Messruther
Concerning message #3489:
Here is another specimen of Phidiana militaris.
Locality: Khor Fa Khan , 18 meters, UAE, Indian Ocean, 13th September 2008, Inchcape 2 Wreck. Length: 1cm. Photographer: William R Messruther.
William R Messruther.
email@example.comMessruther, W.R., 2008 (Sep 17) Re: Phidiana militaris from Gulf of Oman. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21889
As you suggest, this is probably Phidiana militaris, but I can't see enough detail to be sure.
June 18, 2007
From: Shona MacDonald
Taken in March last year on a fishing net caught on an oil platform around 15 kms offshore on a 23 m bracing (seabed around 40m here). I have been unable to identify (or anyone else I've asked) what this little guys is. I'm guessing a Phidiana but I can't find it in any of my reference books for this part of the world.
Locality: Ampa well jacket-23, 23m, Brunei Darussalam, South China Sea, 26th March 2006, 30m vis open water platform structure. Length: 2-3cm long. Photographer: Shona MacDonald.
Any help would be much appreciated.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMacDonald, S, 2007 (Jun 18) Phidiana militaris from Brunei, Borneo. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19352
June 15, 2007
From: Danny Van Belle
This is one I can't find ! I took pictures of two of them.
Can you help me out ?
Locality: Boonsung wreck - Andaman sea, 15 meters, Thailand, Indian ocean, 16 january 2007, On the top of Tinminer wreck Boonsung. Length: 3 cm. Photographer: Danny Van Belle.
Danny Van Belle
Marine Wildlife Videographer
email@example.comVan Belle, D., 2007 (Jun 15) Phidiana militaris from Thailand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19290
This is Phidiana militaris. It is quite a spectacularly coloured species, but doesn't seem to be that common, so it is always good to get another record.
April 12, 2007
From: Lee Goldman
This photo was taken in the Philippines. I was asked to identify it but I was not immediately familiar with this species. When I started to ID it, I found that it most resembled Phidiana militaris, however, the location was off. Any comments?
Locality: Puerta Galera, Philippines, Philippine Sea
Coralfarmguam@yahoo.comGoldman, L., 2007 (Apr 12) Phidiana militaris from the Philippines. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19671
Part of the job of Forum participants is to discover new locations for species. Phidiana militaris has been found in various places along the northern Indian Ocean coast and around to Hong Kong, so your find in the Philippines is not a problem - it is an interesting addition to our knowledge.
April 19, 2003
From: Harro Quitzau
Found in Thailand (Dive Site: Phuket - King Cruiser), at March 10, 2002 (Depth: 20m).
Can you please verify the ID.
Quitzau, H., 2003 (Apr 19) Phidiana militaris from Thailand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/9691
This is Phidiana militaris. P. indica has some similarities but the most obvious difference is that in P. militaris there is one median bright orange-red line on the head that splits to send a line to each oral tentacle, and another line on each side of the head which continues on to the adjaent oral tentacle. In P. indica there are two white lines on the head, one going to the right oral tentacle, the other to the left.
July 10, 2001
From: Leslie Chan
Could you identify this nudibranch which I photographed in Hong Kong.
Details: 12m, Hoi Ha Wan, Hong Kong. 24 February 2001.
firstname.lastname@example.orgChan, L., 2001 (Jul 10) Phidiana militaris from Hong Kong. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4777
This is Phidiana militaris. The only time I have found this spectacular animal was in the Gulf of Kutch in the northwestern corner of India in June 1971. There was nowhere to buy colour film so my only colour records were with water colour paints. Until I quite recently saw colour photos of this animal, I have often wondered whether I exaggerated its brilliant colours in my notes, but clearly I didn't.
February 9, 2001
From: Bernard Picton
[See head of P. indica in INSET in the photo on the right for comparison. See separate message for photos of whole animals]
Phidiana militaris was quite common in Hong Kong in April 1983 but I only saw one Phidiana indica, perhaps P. indica is tropical whilst P. militaris is more warm temperate in its distribution? Or does P. militaris like more turbid habitats?
UPPER: Lai Cho Chung, Mirs Bay, Hong Kong - 17 April 1983 (with inset of head of P. indica)
LOWER: Flat Is., Tolo Channel, Hong Kong - 12 April 1983 - 60mm
email@example.comPicton, B., 2001 (Feb 9) Phidiana militaris from Hong Kong. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3745
The only thibg I can add is that the only time I have found P. militaris was in the Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat State, NW India. That was certainly a turbid, muddy environment, very tropical environment - but I guess our sample size is rather small. I have added an inset to your upper photo to show the head of Phidiana indica for comparison.
January 11, 2001
From: Gordon T. Smith
Another one from Khorfakkan [Gulf of Oman, east coast of United Arab Emirates]. Found several at two sites between 15-22 metre depth. This particular example was about 2cm long.
firstname.lastname@example.orgSmith, G.T., 2001 (Jan 11) Phidiana militaris from Gulf of Oman. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3489
This is another interesting find as there are few known records of Phidiana militaris.