Pleurobranchus mamillatus

Photo courtesy of Carole Harris and Leon Betts

Pleurobranchus mamillatus Quoy & Gaimard, 1832

This weeks "Branch of the Week" is the magnificent Pleurobranchus mamillatus. It is similar in shape and color to the Mediterranean species Pleurobranchus testudinarius (Cantraine, 1841). This specimen photographed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is large and tuberculate. The color of this species varies greatly but can be distinguished most often by the bright pink or yellow rings encircling the base of each tubercule. This is a special find as it has seldom been reported since Quoy & Gaimard's first report from Mauritius. Rudman reports the species found in New Guinea, New Caledonia, New South Wales, Australia, and possibly from the Great Barrier Reef and southern Africa, and Okinawa. It has also been recorded from Kerama Islands , southern Japan as P. grandis by Ono.

The species is usually found on sandy and soft bottom, at depths to over 150 feet. The species measures up to about 150 mm in length.

Dave Behrens
Danville, Calif
Jul. 2001

Carole and Leon live in the United Arab Emirates and have been diving for over 13 years. One of Carole's favourite photography subject is nudibranchs, because as she says, she is almost guaranteed to get a fairly decent shot! Living in the UAE has proved to be a most diverse and unexpected smorgasboard of offerings from a wide range of unusual nudis to robust ghostpipefish, pipehorse, pygmy sea moths, hammerheads, and recently a pygmy sperm whale.

Carole has recently published a UAE dive guide book "UAE Underwater Explorer" with another diver which was published in May 2001. It includes details of the most dived locations, with all the colour photographs supplied by Carole, dive-site maps, GPS bearings, etc.

She is also a very active member in the Emirates Environmental Group, promoting underwater awareness to its members and the public alike and has struck up a friendship with a reporter who shares the same environmental eagerness and helps to highlight these matters in the local newspapers.

Send Carol and Leon email at

Taxonomic information courtesy of Dave Behrens

David W. Behrens

Author: Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Co-Author Coral Reef Animals of the Indo Pacific
Propriator of Sea Challengers Natural History Books !

Send Dave mail at

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller , 2001. All Rights Reserved.