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Hypselodoris skyleri

Species Profile

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Hypselodoris skyleri

Author: Gosliner & R. Johnson in Epstein et al., 2018

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Chromodorididae

Maximum Size: 15 mm

Sightings: Anilao, Philippines


Hypselodoris skyleri Gosliner & R. Johnson in Epstein et al., 2018.

Hypselodoris skyleri is a small species of Hypselodoris reaching 15 mm in length. It has often been confused with Hypselodoris decorata and Hypselodoris maculosa.

The body is elongate when moving but may be more compact and oval when feeding. The mantle, though narrow, just covers the foot apart from the tapering tail. Mantle colour is off-white to cream with numerous fine brown longitudinal lines some discontinuous and some interconnecting, repeated on body sides and foot. The mantle margin is translucent bearing regularly spaced purple spots with intense centre, just submarginally, – repeated on foot and tail. On the mantle margin the translucent edge impinges regularly into the cream of the mantle surface with small indentations, most usually opposite a purple spot. Scattered across the mantle are small tubercles with a bright white tip. These extend to sides of body and foot.

The rhinophores have translucent stalks with some diffuse white pigment and the perfoliate clubs are opaque white with three orange bands and a white tip. The basal orange ring may be inconspicuous. The simple gill branches form a ring around the anus. They are translucent with some diffuse opaque white pigment on the inner face and orange on the outer edges.

Mantle glands are found around the entire margin with the largest glands located anteriorly and posteriorly.

It may be differentiated from Hypselodoris decorata and Hypselodoris maculosa by having brown rather than white lines on the dorsum. Also, the white spots are scattered all over and elevated on small tubercles rather than flush with the notal surface on the margins.

Only recorded from the Philippines and Marshall Islands thus far – not common.

It is the Hypselodoris maculosa? of Rudman, 2003 (Sato, 2003). Rudman noticed it was different to all the similar-looking Hypselodoris known at the time.

David A. Mullins – February 2024

– Sato, Y. (2003 Oct 4). Hypselodoris maculosa? from Philippines. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

– Rudman, W. B., (2003 Oct 4). Comment on Hypselodoris maculosa? from Philippines by Yukari Sato. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

– Epstein, H. E., Hallas, J. M., Johnson, R. F., Lopez, A. & Gosliner, T. M. (2018). Reading between the lines: revealing cryptic species diversity and colour patterns in Hypselodoris nudibranchs (Mollusca: Heterobranchia: Chromodorididae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2018, XX, 1–74.

– Gosliner, T. M., Valde ́s, A ́. & Behrens, D. W. (2018). Nudibranch & Sea Slug Identification – Indo-Pacific, 2nd Edition. New World Publications, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

Other Sea Slugs in this Family (sighted)

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