Phyllidiopsis cardinalis
Courtesy of Dr. Terry Gosliner
Batangas, Philippines

Phyllidiopsis cardinalis Bergh, 1875

While the type species for the genus, the external appearence, especially coloration of Phyllidiopsis cardinalis is not typical of other members of the genus. I think it is one of the most spectacular phyllidiids a diver is likely to encounter. To my knowledge it is the only phyllidiid species with olive-green (to yellow basally) rhinophores.

The dorsum of this species displays a complex array of colors and patterns from yellow to orange and red, as well as olive and green hues, and even shades of purple!. It also has very large, multi-compound tubercles. The foot is yellow as are the fused oral tentacles. Some 16 species of Phylidiopsis have now been described, but there are undoubtedly more to discover. Happy phylidiid hunting!

Taxonomic information courtesy of:

Dr. David J. Brunckhorst

Dr. David Brunckhorst
Department of Ecosystem Management
Universtity of New England

Director, Institute for Bioregional Resource Management
Division of Ecosystem Management
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2351

Phone: (+61) (02) 6773 3001 Fax: (+61) (02) 6773 2769
Send David mail at

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or Institute for Bioregional Resource Management

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