Phyllidia scottjohnsoni
Brunckhorst, 1993

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Phyllidiidae


Known from the central and western Pacific Ocean and as far east as Darwin (Timor Sea).


8 m depth, Kure Atoll, Hawaii, Aug. 1985, dorsal view of 19 mm and 26 mm specimens, Photo: S. Johnson (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 4 D).

Notes compiled from Brunckhorst, 1993:
Phyllidia scottjohnsoni can be distinguished by its white background with black spots, small tubercles and cream to white rhinophores. Phyllidia ocellata generally has black rings around its tubercles but it has a gold background colour and gold rhinophores. Phyllidia scottjohnsoni appears to be a small species in comparison to P. ocellata, Phyllidia tula , Phyllidia varicosa and Phyllidia elegans.Phyllidiopsis loricata (Bergh) is superficially similar to Phyllidia scottjohnsoni, however the former species is more elongate and it lacks black spots in the mid-dorsal region. Phyllidia scottjohnsoni has fewer (7-9) lamellae on the rhinophoral clavus than Phyllidiopsis loricata (16-19 fine lamellae). Phyllidia scottjohnsoni is flattened dorsoventrally to a greater extent than most other Phyllidia species.

Brunckhorst, D.J. (1993) The systematics and phylogeny of Phyllidiid Nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (January 12) Phyllidia scottjohnsoni Brunckhorst, 1993. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

Phyllidia scottjohnsoni from Hawaii

September 24, 2003
From: Keoki Stender

Hi Bill,
To accompany my message on Phyllidiopsis loricata from Oahu, Hawaii, here is a photo of the very similar-looking Phyllidia scottjohnsoni also from Hawaii.

This photo of Phyllidia scottjohnsoni was taken at Midway Atoll in a cave at 15m. They are quite common there but I've never seen one here in the main islands.

Keoki Stender

Stender, K., 2003 (Sep 24) Phyllidia scottjohnsoni from Hawaii. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Keoki,
It's nice to get another record of this species
Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Phyllidia scottjohnsoni from Hachijo Island, Japan

October 24, 2001
From: Rie Nakano

Dear Dr.Rudman

This animal was found by Mr.Shoichi Kato and photographed by Rie Nakano at the edge of the rocky reef of Hachijo Island, Izu, Japan, in 28th, September, 2001. I think it is Phyllidia scottjohnsoni.

Length: 10mm
Water temperature: 24.3 degrees
Frequency: very rare in Hachijo

Rie Nakano

Nakano, R., 2001 (Oct 24) Phyllidia scottjohnsoni from Hachijo Island, Japan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Rie,
Yes I agree with your identification. It is an interesting find.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Oct 24). Comment on Phyllidia scottjohnsoni from Hachijo Island, Japan by Rie Nakano . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from