Siphopteron dumbo

Photo courtesy of Francis and Pirjo Pellet
Alor, Indonesia
Dec. 2023
Image courtesy of Francis and Pirjo Pellet

Siphopteron dumbo Ong & Gosliner in Ong, Hallas & Gosliner, 2017

Members of the family Gastropteridae are a whole bunch (33 in fact) of tiny cephalaspideans with a small internal shell. Thank goodness most are characteristically colored making their identification fairly easy, as most differ only internally.

Siphopteron dumbo is one of those problematic species which has been previously confused with several yellow species having brown or black margins on the mantle and flagellum. Each differs internally.

This species lacks dark mantle margins having pale blue instead on the margins and scattered across the visceral mass. The siphon and flagellum are marked with black.

Terry always likes clowning around when he names new species. In this case the trivial name "dumbo" comes from the 1941 Walt Disney character Dumbo the elephant who this sea slug flies though the water like Dumbo flew through the air.


Elise Ong, Joshua M Hallas, Terrence M Gosliner, 2017. Like a bat out of heaven: the phylogeny and diversity of the bat-winged slugs (Heterobranchia: Gastropteridae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 180, Issue 4, August 2017, Pages 755-789,

Image courtesy of Dave Behrens

Dave Behrens
New Braunfels, TX
Feb., 2024
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Dave and Peg in Texas motif prior to move from
Washington to Texas

Pirjo, Webmaster, and Francis Pellet
Nudibranch Conference, Crystal Blue Resort, May 2023

Francis and Pirjo Pellet live in Les Vans in the Rhone Valley, France. I first met Francis and Pirjo at the July, 2005 Opisthobranch Course held at Cerbere, France hosted by Robert Oms We have reconnected at various times thru the years but more recently at the Nudibranch Conference held at Crystal Blue Philippines resort in May.

I can't say enough about the Pellets and their slug hunting and photography skills although they probably don't need an introduction to readers of this site!. A good many of their finds are in the 5mm and below category which in my estimation is the ultimate challenge in sea slug hunting! Of course photographing something this small is by no means a "slam dunk" as in basketball parlance! There are focus and depth of field considerations which can drive the underwater photographer to exasperation. The Pellets , it goes without saying, excel in super macro photography of sea slugs!

Pirjo shoots with Nikon D 300, 60 mm macro lens and Subsee +10 wet lens of 15 years vintage. Her system is still doing a great job as the reader can see! Francis shoots with a Olympus TG 6 but prefers to use it in a wide angle capacity.

They have through the years contributed countless stunning images to the site for which I am extremely appreciative.

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif
Feb. 2024

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Send Michael email at

From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angle Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

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