Phyllidiopsis loricata (Bergh, 1873)

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This species has been observed on Reunion Island

Order : Nudibranchia
Suborder : Euctenidiacea
Superfamily : Phyllidioidea
Family : Phyllidiidae
Distribution : Great Barrier Reef, Timor Sea, Guam, Marshall Islands, Enewetok Atoll and the type locality, Tahiti
Maximal size : 26 mm
Abundance : Seldom if ever on the fore reef zone and lagoon

Species characteristics :

White dorsum with 10-12 large black (or dark brown) spots and a few much smaller dark spots occur marginally. No black spots occur in the median area of the dorsum

The white to cream rhinophores are pointed apically

Phyllidiopsis loricata
Showing species characteristics...
Photo Florence Trentin
Reunion, "Maison verte" at Saint Leu, 18 m, 18 September 2005, size : 15-18 mm

See more about : Sightening and mating periods

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Bill Rudman and Nathalie Yonow
    Synonymous : (according Worms)
          - Phyllidia loricata Bergh, 1873

Bibliographic data :

Other external morphology characteristics

Live specimens ranged in length from 5-26 mm.
    The white to cream rhinophores are pointed apically. Each rhinophoral clavus possesses 16-19 fine lamellae (specimens greater than 15 mm)
    The presence of many tiny, conical, rounded tubercles on the notum imparts a rough texture to the mantle. Mid-dorsally, the tubercles are usually joined to forne two or three, interrupted, irregular, low ridges
    The mantle skirt is thin and translucent white.
    Ventrally, the hyponotum is translucent white with fïne cross-hatched sculpturing and dark patches showing through from the dorsum
    The foot and gills are white.
    The fused oral tentacles are squarish in shape and very large ( 2 mm in an 18 mm specimen). They possess short, fine lateral grooves

Similar species

P.phiphiensis , P. annae and P. striata possess white and black colouration but differ considerably in being striped.
    P. loricata is superficially similar to Phyllidia scottjohnsoni which has large black spots, medially, on a pale cream white background.

References :

Bill Rudman Seaslug site : Sea Slug Forum : Phyllidiopsis loricata
   Nudipixel Phyllidiopsis loricata

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 Phyllidiopsis loricata :

Florence Trentin

Reunion, "La petite ravine" at Saint Leu, 19 m, 03 June 2005, size : 15 mm

On the ventral view you can observed :
   - The white translucent hyponotum with fïne cross-hatched sculpturing and dark patches showing through from the dorsum
   - The white foot and gills.
   - The squarish in shape and very large fused oral tentacles.

Phyllidiopsis loricata
phyllidiopsis loricata

Christophe Cadet

Reunion, Etang salé lagoon, less 1 m, 27 December 2009, size : 8-10 mm

Specimen with numerous marginal black spot...




Philibert Bidgrain

Reunion, La Saline lagoon, less 1 m, 12 June 2010, size : 8 mm