Phyllidia varicosa
Lamarck, 1801

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Phyllidiidae


Known throughout the Indo-West Pacific Oceans including the central Pacific and the Red Sea.


UPPER: 22 m depth, "Sponge mound", Apra Harbour, Guam, 5 July 1988, dorsal view of 104 mm specimen (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 1B);
MIDDLE & LOWER: 4-10 m depth, Phi Phi Island, southern Thailand, 25 Nov. 1989, dorsal and ventral views respectively of 58 mm specimen, (Brunckhorst, 1993: Plate 1C, D).
PHOTOS: David Brunckhorst.

Notes compiled from Brunckhorst, 1993:
Large species that can be distinguished by its relatively numerous (3-6), longitudinal, tuberculate notal ridges. The ridge and bases of the tubercles are blue-grey in colour. Tubercles are capped in yellow. The foot sole possesses a black longitudinal foot stripe. The rhinophoral clavus possesses 27-30 lamellae.
Phyllidia tula has a longitudinal black stripe on its foot, but the foot is very dark grey and the notum possesses single rounded tubercles and is without ridges.
Phyllidia coelestis is a smaller species which has neither a foot stripe nor a median ridge. It is more oval in shape and possesses 19-26 lamellae on the rhinophoral clavus.

See Bohadschia graffei juvenile - a potential mimic of Phyllidia varicosa.

• Lamarck, J.B. (1801) Systeme des animaux sans vertebres. Paris.
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 varicosa Lamarck, 1801. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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