Fryeria menindie Brunckhorst, 1993
Fryeria menindie is one of the many brightly colored species of porostome nudibranchs in the dorid family Phyllidiidae. It bright color is a perfect example of "aposomatic" or warning coloration, as the species and the other phyllidids produce acid secretions from their mantle glands as defense against predators.
The genus Fryeria, is differentiated from other phyllidid genera by the location of the anus, which opens beneath the mantle shirt in the posterior midline.
Fryeria menindie's distinguishing features are the broad blue bases of large, isolated tubercles, which are capped with yellow-gold, the three wide black regions separating the medial tubercles, and its grey foot and oral tentacles. The rhinophores are yellow-orange. It also has blue crescent shaped arches along the marginal edge, which are separated by black rays extending laterally to the mantle edge and which contain low tubercles of the same color.
Fryeria menindie is similar to several closely related species. These include Fryeria rueppelii, Fryeria guamensi and Fryeria marindica. On Rudman's Sea Slug Forum, Bill explain's that Fryeria menindie and Fryeria rueppeli are oval in shape, while Fryeria guamensi and Fryeria marindica are elongate. Fryeria rueppeli has yellow along the marginal edge, and the marginal arches are white. Fryeria marindica has similar blue and yellow coloration, but does not possess the arch shaped crescents along the margin, and Fryeria guamensi, while having yellow capped tubercles, lacks blue coloration and has nether crescent areas nor black rays extending laterally to the mantle margins.
Brunckhorst (1993) records the distribution of this species from the western
Pacific Ocean (Fiji, Solomons, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Great
Barrier Reef. Rudman adds the Philippines and Thailand. And Mike's photo
here adds Tulamben, Indonesia.
Brunckhorst, D.J. 1993. The systematics and phylogeny of phyliid nudibranchs (Doridoidea). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 16: 1-107
Taxonomic information courtesy of Dave Behrens
David W. Behrens
Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Send Dave mail at email@example.com