Cyerce pavonina
Bergh, 1888

Family: Caliphyllidae


Probably wide Indo-West Pacific distribution. [Known only from original description - Philippines; and record on Forum from Tanzania].


Upper: Bahari Beach, 1km N of Kunduchi Beach, Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, 10 August 1975. Photo: Bill Rudman.  Lower: Plate 77 fig. 3, from Bergh, 1888.

The body is a typical shape for a species of Cyerce with bifurcating rhinophores and the sole of the foot split in two with a transverse groove just behind the rhinophores. The body is mostly covered by large flattened paddle-shaped cerata, which are easily autotomised, and continue to wiggle and exude sticky secretions for many hours after being cast off.

The shape and colour of the cerata is characteristic of the species. The inside face of each ceras [upper side when cerata are lying flat] are translucent clear with many raised transparent pustules scattered all over. Each transparent pustule is surrounded by a white ring, formed from clusters of opaque white specks, possibly glands.  The outside face of each ceras [lower side when cerata are lying flat] is an opaque greenish brown colour with scattered slightly raised nodules which are dull whitish in colour. The edge of the cerata has a yellowish band and raised whitish nodules. The ceratal stalk is colourless and on the outer side there are two elongate marks, a black one close to the attachment point and a larger red one further up.

The body is translucent clear a greenish tinge, and scattered microscopic white granules. There is a dark brown band across the head, at eye level, and a lighter brown colour on the oral tentacles and rhinophores. The general colour pattern of the cerata gives the slugs the appearance of a soft coral colony, the outer face looking like contracted polyps while the inner face looks like feeding polyps.

To my knowledge this species has only been recorded from the Philippines (Bergh, 1888) and Tanzania (Rudman, #21885 ).

  • Bergh, L.S.R. (1888)  Malacologische Untersuchungen. In: C.G. Semper, Reisen im Archipel der Philippinen, Wissenschaftliche Resultate. Band 2, Heft 16a., 755-814. (Pls. 77-81)
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2008 (September 15) Cyerce pavonina Bergh, 1888. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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