Phyllodesmium sp. 2 from Indonesia

February 27, 2004
From: Roberto Sozzani

Note added 1 September 2008: This species, previously know as Phyllodesmium sp. 2 on the Forum, has recently been named Phyllodesmium koehleri. [see message #21853].

Dear Bill,
Today, reading one of the last posts [#12307] I think I've identified an animal I found in June 2003 while diving in Indonesia. Can you please confirm this is Phyllodesmium sp.2?

Location: Manado - North Sulawesi
Depth: 12 m.
Size: 2-3 cm.
Water temp.: 28°C.

I spent some time looking in soft corals. I had many surprises, like this one. Its mimetism was perfect, only in the photos you can see it rather well and its "spiny" cerata, the only visible difference with it's coral host.

Many thanks, as usual...
Best regards
Roberto Sozzani

Sozzani, R., 2004 (Feb 27) Phyllodesmium sp. 2 from Indonesia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Robert,
Yes it is Phyllodesmium sp.2. Hopefully we will be able to identify the soft coral it is living on from your photos. I suspect this is a 'solar powered' species, the brown specks on its bosy and ceratal skin being clusters of single-celled plants [zooxanthellae] it gtes from the soft corals. Some species of this genus show remarkable degrees of camouflage, when living on their soft coral hosts.
Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2004 (Feb 27). Comment on Phyllodesmium sp. 2 from Indonesia by Roberto Sozzani. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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