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Phyllidiopsis annae

Species Profile

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Phyllidiopsis annae

Author: Brunckhorst, 1993

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Phyllidiidae

Maximum Size: 20 mm

Sightings: Lembeh & Bali, Indonesia; Anilao, Philippines


Phyllidiopsis annae Brunckhorst, 1993

Phyllidiopsis annae is elongate-oval in shape and flattened in profile. It is a small phyllidiid growing to 20 mm in length. The notum has three blue, granular longitudinal and low, medial ridges running posteriorly and coalescing in the region of the anus. There are also four black longitudinal lines – one each side lateral to the rhinophores and ridges that may meet posteriorly and two that commence co-joined, anterior to and in-between the rhinophores, bifurcating posterior to the rhinophores and then running posteriorly between the ridges. These two medially-most lines usually do not meet posteriorly. The mantle margin is also blue and granular in appearance. Black spots are often present on the blue margin, mostly irregularly distributed. Tiny rounded tubercles are present in the blue coloured regions but more numerous on the mantle margin. The overall appearance is of alternating black and granular blue stripes.

The lamellate rhinophores are pointed and black in colour with a grey base. There are no rhinotubercles. The anal aperture is also black. Ventrally the foot is grey without a stripe or other markings but the hyponotum is darkly coloured.

Phyllidiopsis annae is a porostome nudibranch, lacking a radula and feeds upon sponges suctorially.

Distribution is tropical in the Eastern Indian Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean.

There are two species that may be confused with Phyllidiopsis annae and by way of differentiation:
Phyllidiella xishaensis has white dorsal ridges and mantle margin plus the rhinophores are straw coloured.
Phyllidiopsis sphingis is only blue on the mantle margin that carries lateral black rays, ridges are white and the blue is not granular plus the rhinophores are cream to straw coloured.

David A. Mullins – February 2024


Above: Phyllidopsis annae moving slowly across the substrate in Lembeh, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

– 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, August 1) Phyllidiopsis annae Brunckhorst, 1993. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from and associated messages.

– Yonow, N., Anderson, R. C. & Buttress, S. G. (2002). Opisthobranch molluscs from the Chagos Archipelago, Central Indian Ocean. Journal of Natural History, 36, 831–882.

– Nakano, R. (2004). Opisthobranchs of Japan Islands. Rules Inc. Tokyo.

– Debelius, H. & Kuiter, R. H., (2007). Nudibranchs of the World. IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv, Frankfurt.

– Coleman, N., (2008). Nudibranchs Encyclopedia. Neville Coleman’s Underwater Geographic Pty Ltd, Springwood, Qld

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

– Papu, A., Bogdanov, A., Bara, R., Kehraus, S., Konig, G. M., Yonow. N. & Wagele, H. (2022). Phyllidiidae (Nudibranchia, Heterobranchia, Gastropoda): an integrative taxonomic approach including chemical analyses. Organisms Diversity & Evolution. Volume 22, 585-629.

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