While this animal has some resemblance to Phyllidia madangensis, the first specimen below was much larger and the sole of its foot had a black line (absent in P. madangensis). This animal most resembles the Phyllidia tula figured by Brunchkorst and on the web on the Sea Slug Forum. Unfortunately, the original description by Marcus & Marcus, 1970, is of a preserved specimen that was mostly lacking color. Still, they indicate that the big dorsal tubercles are surrounded by small warts, which can easily be seen in the photo below. Specimens we are calling P. tula from Pohnpei are similar, but seem a bit different and may be another species.
This is another of the Mullerian mimics in the P. varicosa group.
The one below kind of fits Marcus & Marcus' (1970) original description, who indicated that the small warts surrounding the yellow tips were "light."
The smaller bumps around the larger yellow-tipped ones are less obvious here, but still present if you look close. Dorsally, this one also resembles Phyllidia sp. e359, where we had it placed for a while. However, the much smaller bumps along the mostly black margin of the dorsum is a lot closer to Phyllidia tula.
The animal below was found on 4 January 2009 on a Kwajalein Atoll western lagoon reef at a depth of about 5m.
Below are dorsal and ventral shots of a specimen found on 21 September 2009 on a Kwajalein Atoll eastern lagoon reef.
Created 30 December 2006
Updated 1 March 2010
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