May 31, 2003
From: Nishina Masayoshi
email@example.comMasayoshi, N., 2003 (May 31) Re: Phyllidia zebrina or Fryeria larryi?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10115
I should have considered Fryeria larryi as a possibility, but just accepted Dave Brunckhorst's identification of your photo. However, I'm afraid its not that simple as you animal has features of both 'species'. The basic problem is that both species were described from single specimens, and in neither case was the anatomy studied. All we know is that in P. zebrina the anus opens on a dorsal papilla while in F. larryi it opens ventrally. I tend to agree that your animal looks more like F. larryi because it doesn't show the rounded tubercles on the mantle of P. zebrina. However it is white like P. zebrina rather than yellow like the sole known specimen of F. larryi. The sole specimen of P. zebrina was 14mm long preserved, and of F. larryi, 6mm long.
I am afraid this is another example of the problems of describing and naming new species from single specimens. I can't even say that the position of the anus is a good character to use in separating these two species because, as we discuss elsewhere on the Forum, there is evidence to suggest that in some species at least, the position of the anus is variable.
All I can suggest is that we leave your animal with Phyllidia zebrina until we get more specimens or photos.