Samla bicolor ( Kelaart, 1858 )
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This species has been observed on Reunion, Mauritius, Mayotte, Madagascar and Seychelles Islands

Order : Nudibranchia
Suborder : Dexiarchia
Superfamily : Flabellinoidea
Family : Samlidae
Distribution : Widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific
Maximal size : 30 mm
Abundance : From time to time on the fore reef zone and on the rocky coast

Species characteristics :

The general body colour is translucent white or bluish white with patches of opaque white pigment present over most of the dorsum.

A vivid orange spot, or complete (most often), or incomplete narrow orange ring is present subapically on each cerata.

Long paddle-shaped oral tentacles are present.


Samia bicolor
Showing species characteristics...
Photo Alain Barrére
Réunion, Saint Philippe, coulée 2007, 1 June 2007, size : 10 mm

See more about : Sightening and mating periods
   See more about : Samla bicolor variability in Southwest Indian ocean

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Nathalie Yonow and Hsini Lin
    Synonymous (according worms) :
          - Coryphella ornata Risbec, 1928                         - Samla annuligera Bergh, 1900
          - Eolis bicolor Kelaart, 1858                                  - Flabellina bicolor (Kelaart, 1858)
          - Flabellina alisonae Gosliner, 1980                             

Bibliographic data :

The anterior foot corners are enlarged into short blunt tentacles
    The tail is elongated and pointed
    It feeds on the athecate hydroids
    It is one of a group of species with lamellate rhinophores, and with oral tentacles with a flattened terminal lobe. When this aeolid is crawling along the flattened paddle-like oral tentacles are continually flapping up and down apparently testing the substrate the animal is crawling over.

Similar species

Samla bilas, Samla bicolor and Samla riwo are three species of the genus with these chracteristic "paddle-shaped" oral tentacles. The only species with the white reticulate pattern on the body and a orange band on the cerata is Samla bicolor
    It is closely to S. macassarana, but S. macassarana has a terminal burnt orange ceratal tip ring in a subapicaly orange band

References :

Bill Rudman Seaslug site : Sea Slug Forum : Flabellina bicolor
    Nudipixel Flabellina bicolor

Publications :

Gosliner,T.M. & Willan,R.C. (1991) Review of the Flabellinidae (Nudibranchia: Aeolidacea) from the tropical Indo-Pacific, with the descriptions of five new species. The Veliger, 34(2) : 97-133.
    Gosliner, T. M. (1980 ["1979"]). The systematics of the Aeolidiacea (Nudibranchia: Mollusca) of the Hawaiian Islands, with descriptions of two new species. Pacific Science. 33(1): 37-77.
    Kelaart, E. F. (1858). Description of new and little known species of Ceylon nudibranchiate molluscs, and zoophytes. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 3(1): 84-139
    Korshunova, T.; Martynov, A.; Bakken, T.; Evertsen, J.; Fletcher, K.; Mudianta, W.; Saito, H.; Lundin, K.; Schrödl, M.; Picton, B. (2017). Polyphyly of the traditional family Flabellinidae affects a major group of Nudibranchia: aeolidacean taxonomic reassessment with descriptions of several new families, genera, and species (Mollusca, Gastropoda). ZooKeys. 717: 1-139

Other photos of Samla bicolor :

Philibert Bidgrain

Réunion, Etang sale lagoon, less 1 m, 3 December 2009, size : 12-15 mm

It is one of a group of species with lamellate rhinophores (a)



Monika Bachel

Réunion, La Possession, 7 m, 28 December 2008, size 12 to 15 mm.

5 specimens observed during this dive

A vivid orange narrow otange ring is present subapically on each cerata.

Christophe Cadet

Réunion, Etang sale lagoon, less 1 m, 12 December 2009, size : 15 mm

Three specimens observed on the same day...

The seaslug and its white spawn...


Eva Fontaine

mtsanga Jimaweni, Mayotte, less 1 m, 23 October 2008, size ; 15 mm.

Sully Bachel

Réunion, Cap la Houssaye at St Paul, 8-12 m, 21 February 2009, size 12 mm. 3 specimens onserved during this dive.

Detail of the lamellate rhinophores.

Alain-Benoît Rassat

Madagascar, Nosy Bé, less 1 m, size : 10 mm

   More photos from Indian Ocean

See more about : Samla bicolor variability in Southwest Indian ocean

 Reunion, S. bicolor with incomplete narrow orange ring, at etang salé, by Philibert Bidgrain

Mauritius, Samla bicolor with complete narrow orange ring, at Flic en Flac, by Sully Bachel  

Reunion, head detail of Samla bicolor, at etang salé, by Philibert Bidgrain

Seychelles, Samla bicolor, at Mahé, by Christophe Mason-Parker