The Phyllidiopsis gemmata is a species of colourful sea slug. They are dorid nudibranchs, marine gastropod mollusks. They were first described in Java in 1957 by Pruvot-Fol.
Phyllidiopsis gemmata have an elongated shape and three lines of pinkish tubercles longditudinally across the middle of the body separated by black lines. The outer lines usually extend the whole way across the body but in this specimen they do not. The lower sides are covered in pink tubercles interspersed with black lines.The rhinophores are black on the rear and top and pinkish on the front on this specimen. This specimen was photographed on Octopus reef off Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The colors are untouched and this specimen seems to have higher and thicker tubercles than most others reported and the outer black lines do not extend all the way to the rear of the body. This specimen was approximately 65 to 70 mm in length which is larger than those reported elsewhere.
IN THE WILD
The Phyllidiopsis gemmata are not that common in Tanzania but are very occasionally seen on the top of some reefs at about 15 meters in depth. They have the ability to secrete toxic substances which provides protection against predators. Being fairly slow moving they are easy to observe while diving. They seem to sense a diver and head for cover, probably not appreciating having lights shone on them.
The Phyllidiopsis gemmata is found across the Indo west Pacific area . They are found on rocky and coral reefs to a depth of 30 meters.
Presently the diet of Phyllidiopsis gemmate is not known.
They are simultaneous hermaphrodites and mating takes place by connecting the sexual organs which are on the right hand side of the body. Once the two organs hook up sperm is transfered across to each specimen. Eggs are laid on a solid substrate in a ribbon and when they hatch the larvae become planktonic before growing into adults.
PHYLLIDIOPSIS GEMMATA CLASSIFICATION
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
- The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates: East and South Coasts of Southern Africa by Dennis King & Valda Fraser