Phyllidia exquisita    Brunckhorst, 1993

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This species has been observed on Mayotte, Madagascar and Seychelles Islands

Order : Nudibranchia
Suborder : Euctenidiacea
Superfamily : Phyllidioidea
Family : Phyllidiidae
Distribution : Indian ocean, central and western Pacific Ocean
Maximal size : 23 mm
Abundance :

Species characteristics :

There is an orange border (sometimes only around the anterior end) to the mantle and numerous microscopic white specks all over the surface of the mantle

The dorsal pattern is characterised by the presence of median longitudinal and transverse lateral black lines

There are rounded tubercles arranged in more or less longitudinal rows but neither joined. The tubercles take on the colour of their immediate background (white or black). Tubercles in a white area are capped in yellow.

The rhinophores are yellow in colour.

Phyllidia exquisita
Showing species characteristics...
Photo Sully Bachel
Madagascar, Nosy Bé, 12-14 m, 25 July 2010, size : 30-40 mm

See more about : Sightening and mating periods

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Nathalie Yonow and Hsini Lin
    Synonymous : (according Worms)
          - No other name

Bibliographic data :

Other external morphology characteristics

Live specimens ranged in length from 10-23 mm
    Brunckhorst description of the black pattern "Centrally, there is a short, longitudinal black line. This line is joined at either end by transverse black lines. Short black radial lines occur marginally and their presence has the effect of highlighting the two white, longitudinal rows of tubercles. These white areas may be interrupted by a black transverse line ". The dorsal pattern is characteristic and appears to show little intraspecific variation
    The rhinophores are yellow in colour and each clavus possesses 17-20 lamellae
    The ventral surface is white
    The foot sole has no characteristic markings, and the oral tentacles are short and conical in ventral vlew
    Etymology : The exquisite and fine patterns of this species are the basis for its name

Similar species

It is most similar to P. willani and P. babai in the possession of a white background colour and black markings but :
          - Phyllidia babai has black rings (rather than lines) and larger tubercles
          - Phyllidia willani differs in having black swirls, large and small tubercles, a characteristic granular appearance to the notum, and grey colouration ventrally.

References :

Bill Rudman Seaslug site : Sea Slug Forum : Phyllidia exquisita
   Nudipixel Phyllidia exquisita

Publications :

Brunckhorst,D.J. (1993) The systematics and phylogeny of Phyllidiid Nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107.

Other photos of Phyllidia exquisita :



Matthias Deuss

Mayotte, ilôt blanc de Mtsamboro, 4m, 30 December 2010, size : 25 mm

Matthias Deuss

Mayotte, December 2011, size : 15 mm

The foot sole has no characteristic markings

Christophe Mason-Parker

Seychelles, Whale Rock, Mahe Lilot, 9 m, 23 September 2011

In this specimen from Seychelles, there is an complete orange border to the mantle

 More photos from Indian Ocean

Madagascar,  meeting between two P. exquisita, at Nosy Bé, by Alain-Benoît Rassat