Known from the tropical western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean.
UPPER: 18-24 m depth, Horseshoe Reef, outer barrier reef, south east of Port Moresby, PNG, 21 June 1988, dorsal view of 32 mm specimen on food sponge, Phakellia sp. (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 7C); LOWER: 4-10 m depth, Phi Phi Island, southern Thailand, 25 Nov. 1989, dorsal view of 23 and 28 mm specimens (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 7D).
Notes compiled from Brunckhorst, 1993:
Phyllidiella rudmani is characterised by its pale pink notum with two black stripes, and the black and pink banded rhinophores. Ventrally, the foot and oral tentacles are white. Phyllidiella pustulosa , Phyllidiella zeylanica, Phyllidiella nigra , Phyllidiella annulata, and Phyllidiella rosans all possess a black background coloration and are therefore easily separated from the present species. Other differences are the bicolored rhinophores and basically white ventral surfaces of Phyllidiella rudmani. Phyllidiella lizae resembles the present species as it also possesses pink background coloration and black to white, colour graded rhinophores. However, substantial differences are apparent: the irregular, broken, intersecting black lines (two straight longitudinal black stripes in P. rudmani); a different number of rhinophoral lamellae; and ventrally, pale grey to pink coloration (white in P. rudmani) and digitate oral tentacles (conical in P. rudmani).
• Brunckhorst, D.J. (1993) The systematics and phylogeny of Phyllidiid Nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107.
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (September 12) Phyllidiella rudmani Brunckhorst, 1993. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/phylrudm
October 6, 2008
From: Harry Blalock
I've run across another nudibranch I've never seen before and can't seem to find an accurate ID for him in any of the books I've got. The closest thing to it in Helmet Debelius's Nudibranch & Sea Slug Indo-Pacific Field Guide is a Phyllidiopsis pipeki, but the markings are different. Could you help me once again come up with an ID for this guy.
Locality: Grotto - a cavern dive, 45', Saipan, Northern Marianas Islands, Padific Ocean, 14 October 2007, On a boulder with coral growth on it.. Length: 1 1/2". Photographer: Harry Blalock.
Blalock, H., 2008 (Oct 6) Phyllidiella rudmani ? from Nthn Marianas Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20962
I am afraid that all we have to go on from photos is the colour markings, and if they don't 'fit' the 'typical' pattern for a species, we have a problem. More importantly, I suspect we still have a bit to learn about colour variability in individual species. I agree that your animal is unlikely to be P. pipeki mainly because the rhinophores in that species have a distinct black band down the posterior side of the stalk. In your animals the upper half of the rhinophore is black and the lower half is pinkish white. There is a blackish tinge down the stalk but it seems to be an internal coloration.
The two most probable identifications are Phyllidiella rudmani and P. lizae. I feel a bit of a failure not being able to identify P. rudmani with confidence, but as I discuss in an earlier message [#19480] this species can have more than the chracteristic pair of black lines. In fact Brunckhorst, in his description, says there can be two extra lines near the edge, and 'additional black lines, if present, are less distinct and usually interrupted '.
The other species I mentioned, P. lizae, does have transverse lines as in your photos, but there is a distinctive diagonal black cross in the middle of the back and the longitudinal lines join both anteriorly and posteriorly. I can't really say which differences are more important, so my identification of your animals as P. rudmani is very tentative.
February 29, 2008
From: Richard Swann
Concerning message #19480:
I think i have a little more info to assist with the ID of this slug, you requested a look at the underside of this animal, from what i can see the foot and oral tentacles are white, the rhinophores are a good match to your previous description and to my earlier post we also have the orange sponge present which all seems to indicate that we have Phyllidiella rudmani with a possible pattern variation as you previously stated.
Locality: Sulug island, Kota Kinabalu, 17 meters, Sabah, Borneo, South China Sea, 10th November 2007, Reef slope, outreef. Length: 3-4 cm. Photographer: Richard Swann.
This form is a common find in this area.
I look forward to your thoughts and reply.
email@example.comSwann, R., 2008 (Feb 29) Re: Phyllidiella rudmani from Sabah, Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21204
The colour of the animal and the quite slender and conical separated oral tentacles certainly fit P. rudmani
July 2, 2007
From: Richard Swann
Concerning message #19480:
Thankyou as always a wonderfully fascinating reply! I will of course pursue some images of the underside to help us with this puzzle and please diving is never a pain.
I did actually post a message on the 10th June thinking they maybe P. granulata and this also has one shot with a better look at the orange sponge.
My own modest Seaslug field guide is well under way should anyone wish to visit, we focus on Sabah North Borneo (our home)
Thanks for all your time
firstname.lastname@example.orgSwann, R., 2007 (Jul 2) Re: Phyllidiella rudmani from Sabah, Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20085
I amalgamated your two messages so here is the photo I left out. It wasn't the diving I thought might be a pain it was my suggestion that you take photos of their undersides.
June 29, 2007
From: Richard Swann
I am pulling out what little hair I have left trying to ID these guys. I think they are Phyllidiopsis pipeki or Phyllidiopsis krempfi but there are a few others they also resemble, the rhinophores do not seem to have a distinct black line along the posterior edge with pink front edge but rather all black with pink base or just all black.
Your help would be much appreciated, i have sent three images for you to take a look at, the mating pair was taken on 17 January 2007 and the threesome was taken on 10 February 2007.
Locality: Island close to Kota Kinabalu, 10-14 meters, Sabah, Borneo, South China Sea, 17th January 2007 and 10th February 2007, Fringing reef . Length: unsure of exact length. Photographer: Richard Swann.
Swann, R., 2007 (Jun 29) Phyllidiella rudmani from Sabah, Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19480
The rhinophore colour is wrong for both P. pipeki or P. krempfi.
I think the pair in the top photo are Phyllidiella rudmani, as they have a pinkish body colour, the rhinophores are black apically and orange-pink basally, the tubercles are rounded and the black lines - at least in the left animal - are essentially a single pair. I know the animal on the right has a line running across behind the rhinophores so I can't be 100% sure, but another possibility, P. granulatus, has black rather than pink and black rhinophores.
The animals in the bottom photo are probably P. rudmani as well but we really need to see the rest of the rhinophores to see if they are all black. Also if we could see the underside we could see the colour of the oral tentacles - black-tipped in P. granulatus and white in P. rudmani. If you feel like photographing the underside of these animals in the field in future it could be quite valuable - if a pain for you.
If I'm right it looks like the colour pattern of P. rudmani could at times vary from just a pair of black lines. I note an orange sponge - possibly its food - in the left of the lower photo.
January 3, 2007
From: Mike Krampf
You didn't have too many pictures of your namesake so thought I'd share this one with you. I'm assuming this one to be a Phyllidiella rudmani.
Locality: Dive Site - Demak off Bangka Island, 30 ft, Sulawesi, Indonesia, Celebes Sea, 22 October 2006, Fringing reef. Length: 3 cm. Photographer: Mike Krampf.
email@example.comKrampf, M., 2007 (Jan 3) Phyllidiella rudmani from Sulawesi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/18657
Unfortunately, having a Phyllidiella named after me doesn't give me special powers to enable me to identify species of Phyllidiella easily, but in this case you seem to have a very typical specimen. It's also very nice to have it in on this bright orange-red sponge. Although there is not enough detail to identify the sponge to species, it certainly fits the growing evidence that this species feeds on an orange species of the axinellid sponge genus Phakellia.
January 23, 2003
From: Scott Johnson
I continue to fight to identify all my various phyllidiids. While comparing photos I took a few years ago in the Solomons with the Forum pics, I noticed you mentioned the difficulty of coming up with an unambiguous Phyllidiella rudmani. While this one is not completely unambiguous since you cannot see the rhinophores, I think this is it. This one [s114_1] measured around 35mm and was shot in off Aruliho on Guadalcanal.
johnson@kmr.LL.mit.eduJohnson, S., 2003 (Jan 23) Phyllidiella rudmani from the Solomon Ids. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8907
December 19, 2002
From: Mary Jane Adams
Here are a couple of images for your database that look to me like Phyllidiella rudmani. I photographed them in Lebmeh Strait, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.
The upper image (110215a)is from Divesite: Makawidey, November 21, 2002, Length: 27mm.
The lower image (110235) is from Divesite: Nudi Retreat, November 26, 2002, Lengh: 25-30mm.
firstname.lastname@example.orgAdams, MJ., 2002 (Dec 19) Phyllidiella rudmani from Sulawesi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8660
Thanks Mary Jane,
The single pair of black lines, and the rhinophores, with a black tip and pink base are characteristic of this species. Its nice to see a couple of photos which match the original description so well. The white, relatively long, oral tentacles, visible in the lower photo, are also typical
January 19, 2002
From: Erwin Köhler
Here are 2 shots from the Maldives with Phyllidiella rudmani feeding on orange sponges.
UPPER: size 45 mm, depth 24 m, Maldive Islands, South Male Atoll, Gulhi Island, divesite "Diahu Thila", 24th Oct. 1999
LOWER: size 22 mm, depth 14 m, Maldive Islands, Ari Atoll, Mayaafushi Island, divesite "Jaaria Special", 25th Sept. 2000
Erwin@medslugs.deKöhler, E., 2002 (Jan 19) Phyllidiella rudmani on sponge. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6038
Even if I have never got to the Maldives, it's good to see that one of my 'relatives' has made it.
This is a good addition to Mary Jane's recent photo from the Solomon Ids. It looks to be the same sponge again so I would be pretty confident in saying this is its food, or at least one of its preferred food sponges.
January 10, 2002
From: Mary Jane Adams
Here is another picture of Phyllidiella rudmani dining on an orange sponge. Location: White Beach, Russell Group, Solomon Islands.
email@example.comAdams, MJ. , 2002 (Jan 10) Phyllidiella rudmani on orange sponge. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/5934
Dear Mary Jane,
Thanks very much. I am pretty sure this is the species of Phakiella that Brunckhorst originally reported this animal to feed on. It is good to get another observation. So many feeding observations are based on single reports.
September 18, 2001
From: Mary Jane Adams
This one seems to fit the description of your namesake, Phyllidiella rudmani. I shot it a Karumolun Island in the Russell Group of the Solomon Islands in Nov., 2000. Length: 26 mm, Depth not recorded. What do you think?
firstname.lastname@example.orgAdams, M.J., 2001 (Sep 18) Phyllidiella rudmani from the Solomon Ids. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/5280
Thanks Mary Jane,
This is definitely Phyllidiella rudmani. If you compare this with Bruce's photo you can see that the black lines in P. rudmani are much straighter and the rhinophores are pink and black.
December 29, 2000
Here is a photo of Phyllidiella rudmani which I found at depth of 20-80 feet in Karang Lebar Atoll, Thousand Islands, Indonesia.
email@example.comYasman, 2000 (Dec 29) Phyllidiella rudmani from Indonesia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3336
This certainly looks to be a typical specimen.
December 27, 2000
From: Erwin Koehler
Here are two photos of Phyllidiella rudmani - or is the dark pink one something else?
Data: Maldives, Ari Atoll, Ellaidhoo Island, divesite "Orimas Thila", depth 19m, size 45mm (dark one) and 39mm.
Koehler@t-online.deKoehler, E., 2000 (Dec 27) Phyllidiella rudmani from the Maldives. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3440
Yes I think these are both Phyllidiella rudmani.