Phyllidiella pustulosa

(Cuvier, 1804)

Also known as: Phyllidia melanocera

Phyllidiella pustulosa
Photographed by: Doug Beitz

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Mollusca
Class:Gastropoda
Subclass:Opisthobranchia
Order:Nudibranchia
Suborder:Doridina
Family:Phyllidiidae
Species:Phyllidiella pustulosa

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #31525
A juvenile individual.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #29822
A juvenile individual.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #26232
I think that is the anal papilla, the black conical protrusion on the far left of the slug. The tubercles are arranged in angular groups, and in a central + lateral series, characteristic of pustulosa.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #24880
This is a juvenile - long ago, I also thought it was a different species. One of the few species whose juveniles are not identical to adults.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #21796
A juvenile specimen - you can just make out the quadrangular arrangements of the central groups of tubercles.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #17168
This is another one of those that seems in between different species. It could be a heavily pustulose form of Phyllidiella pustulosa, although I think that would put it at the far end of its range of variation.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #18270
This one does seem like a large specimen of Phyllidiella pustulosa with more pink than usual.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #18278
Even though the rhinophores do not appear to be completely black, I think the rest of the body falls into the Phyllidiella pustulosa range.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #18280
Probably Phyllidiella pustulosa. The pink pustules arranged in rough rings on the middorsum are reminiscent of Phyllidiella annulata, but in that species the pustules are not supposed to be compound, as they appear to be in the photo from Kosrae. I've seen specimens of what I call Phyllidiella pustulosa similar to this, although I have to say the identification is not 100% certain.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #18281
I would say it is possibly Phyllidiella pustulosa, although this is a somewhat problematic variation. The lighter rhinophores and arrangement of black valleys around the pink "hills" are somewhat different from the more typical P. pustulosa. It sort of leans toward photo no. 6 below, which I'm guessing is a form of Phyllidiella hageni. I keep one kind of like this separate as Phyllidiella sp. on the Marshall Islands nudibranch site at http://www.underwaterkwaj.com/nudi/porostomes/e446.htm.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #16718
Of course Paradoris liturata does an incredible job of mimicking Phyllidiella pustulosa, but since I cannot see any trace of dorsal gills on this animal, I would have to stick with Phyllidiella pustulosa.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #16722
Yes, I would call these Phyllidiella pustulosa. They appear to be mating.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #16729
Same comment as http://www.nudipixel.net/photo/00016735/

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #16731
These look like typical Phyllidiella pustulosa.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #16732
This one appears to have been disturbed and is releasing its white toxic defensive secretion. The toxins from many phyllidiids can kill any other animals in a bucket or aquarium, so if they are ever put in an aquarium, they need to be kept happy. Not easy, considering that it is almost impossible to keep the proper food for them, and a starving nudibranch can easily become unhappy.

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #16682
Same comment as http://www.nudipixel.net/photo/00016735/

Comment from Scott Johnson on photo #16735
Phyllidiella pustulosa and its various look-alike species are confusing and hard to distinguish. I have changed my mind many times about identifications of the different species, but I don't think I or anyone else has all the answers yet. That said, I have a hard time believing the animals in this picture are the same as the definitive Phyllidiella pustulosa seen in some of the other pictures. Their rhinophores do not look quite black enough and the dorsal color and pattern seem distinct from typical Phyllidiella pustulosa. It could be just a variation of Phyllidiella pustulosa, but it seems unlikely to me that two such similar looking specimens would find each other amidst all the other, more typical Phyllidiella pustulosa found on Micronesian reefs. Still, I do not have a better name to give it. Best at this time I think to call it a questionable variation of Phyllidiella pustulosa that needs more research.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #16381
This is an exceptionally pale coloured individual.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #13864
You can see the central quadrangular groups of tubercles.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #14712
Let’s go for it. It can’t be Phyllidiopsis burni since it doesn’t have a marginal band of single tubercles.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #15324
Yes, possibly, although quite plump! Phyllidiella lizae is also a possibility, although the original description does not mention the black submarginal band (some photos show it). Diagnostic is the black rhinophores for Phyllidiella pustulosa (and for Phyllidiella granulata) and the pink and black ones of Phyllidiella lizae… These look quite black – in Brunckhorst photo of Phyllidiella lizae they are very much like in Phyllidiopsis, pink and black.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #8983
Phyllidiella pustulosa with all black rhinophores and black border.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #9268
This is identical to juvenil pustulosa I described as melanocera from the Red Sea. The black and white margin is characteristic, as are the all-black rhinophores.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #13607
Juvenile

Comment from Terry Gosliner on photo #13210
I think this is a variation of Phyllidiella pustulosa

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #12280
A typical individual.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #11508
A juvenile Phyllidiella pustulosa. I also thought it was different years ago and in fact named it a new species, Phyllidiella melanocera.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #9712
A juvenile individual.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #10554
This is the green species.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #10489
A juvenile individual

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #6354
A sick or dying individual. I do not know what the blue patches are on the front end.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #6256
A juvenile individual.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #3471
See the black X between the central groups of pustules, especially in the first one behind the rhinophores

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #718
I think it is Phyllidiella pustulosa due to the thin pink mantle margin and the groups of pink tubercles.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #3852
Note the completely black rhinophores, by contrast Phyllidiopsis krempfi would have half pink and half black rhinophores.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #1579
This is one of the species of Phyllidiella that consistently has green pustules.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #1476
Quadrangular groups of tubercles down the midline, pale mantle margin.

Comment from Nathalie Yonow on photo #2515
This is a juvenile Phyllidiella pustulosa. My first time, I named it as new, because the small ones always look like this. Then they ‘jump’ to the typical Phyllidiella pustulosa form. I had called it Phyllidia melanocera because the rhinophores were so large and black.

Comment from Richard Willan on photo #1613
A typical individual.

Locality:

 

Pictures of Phyllidiella pustulosa

Phyllidiella pustulosa from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4976 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4911 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4837 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 5076 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 5153 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Tioman, MalaysiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4964 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Tioman, MalaysiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4642 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Mabul, MalaysiaIdentification reviewed by Nathalie Yonow
Location: Mabul, Malaysia
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4702 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Perhentian, MalaysiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4814 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Lembeh, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 8 years ago
Viewed 4954 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Saipan, Nthn. Mariana IslandsIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 5070 times
Phyllidiella pustulosa from Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIdentification reviewed by Richard Willan
Posted 9 years ago
Viewed 4868 times
 
 

Similar Species

Author: Dr. Richard C. Willan

The main differences between Phyllidiella and Phyllidiopsis are internal – to do with the anatomy of the foregut. Externally these three species are indeed quite similar in colouration and in having compound tubercles, and all three species vary a great deal between individuals. The main external differences are:

Phyllidiella pustulosa and Phyllidiopsis burni have entirely black rhinophores (bicoloured in Phyllidiopsis krempfi);

Phyllidiella pustulosa and Phyllidiopsis krempfi have narrow black lines (very broad black areas in Phyllidiopsis burni).

 
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