Phyllidia coelestis
Bergh, 1905

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Phyllidiidae


Common on tropical reefs throughout the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. Known from the western Pacific Ocean, South China Sea, Timor Sea and across the Indian Ocean to South Africa.


UPPER: 8 m depth, Loloata Island, 15 km south-east of Port Moresby, PNG, 23 June 1988, dorsal view of 39 mm specimen (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 1G);
MIDDLE: 1 m depth, Phi Phi Island, southern Thailand, 24 Nov. 1989, ventral view of 55 mm specimen. (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 1H).
LOWER: 18-24 m depth, Horseshoe Reef, 23 km south-east of Port Moresby, PNG, 21 June 1988, dorsal view of 20 mm specimen (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 1F).
PHOTOS: David Brunckhorst.


Symbiotic copepod on P. coelestis

Notes compiled from Brunckhorst, 1993:
Phyllidia coelestis can be distinguished from other similar-looking phyllidiids by colour and pattern: in particular the "Y" shape of the blue-grey dorsal ridges; the yellow-capped mid-dorsal tubercles (which never form a median ridge as in Phyllidia varicosa); the evenly tuberculate, broad, blue-grey mantle margin; and the uniformly grey foot without a dark stripe.

Brunckhorst, D.J. (1993) The systematics and phylogeny of Phyllidiid Nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (January 12) Phyllidia coelestis Bergh, 1905. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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