Hypselodoris sagamiensis

Photo courtesy of Francis Pellet
Lembeh Straits, Indonesia
Nikon D 200 with Nikkor 60 mm macro lens in Subal housing and Inon strobes
Est. size. 5-6 mm
Oct., 2008

Hypselodoris sagamiensis (Baba, 1949)

This week's BOW again comes by way of Francis and Pirjo Pellet of the Rhone Valley area of France. The Pellets are long time sea slug enthusiasts and are contributors not only to this site but also our forthcoming book! What better way to celebrate Christmas with a branch that has so much color that no decorations need be added!

Hypselodoris sagamiensis is another fantastic chromodorid from Lembeh Strait, Indonesia. Originally described from Sagami Bay, Japan as the name implies, it has now been recorded from southern Queensland, Australia and Vanuatu as well. This species can be found on page 264 of the “new” Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs. It is interesting to note that this species was originally collected by His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan.

The white body is covered with numerous black and dark blue spots, and has a series of yellow spots along the margin. The gill and rhinophores are deep red.

There seems to be some disagreement on whether this species of Hypselodoris has chemical secretion glands in the mantle or not. Baba (1995) and Gosliner & Johnson (1999) report that this species is one of only two species of Hypselodoris which are reported to lack mantle glands. Yet Rudman purposely pointed out with a circle on the Pellet’s earlier photo, that mantle glands are present in the species. Hummmmmm.


Baba, K. (1949) Opisthobranchia of Sagami Bay collected by His Majesty The Emperor of Japan. Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo. 194pp., 50 Pls.
Gosliner, T.M. & Johnson, R.F. (1999) Phylogeny of Hypselodoris (Nudibranchia: Chromodorididae) with a review of the monophyletic clade of Indo-Pacific species, including descriptions of twelve new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 125: 1-114.

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
Dec., 2008

Francis and Pirjo Pellet in the laboratory, Cerbere, July, 2005

It was a rainy morning at Lembeh so most of us were just hanging out on our boat waiting for the rain to subside. Suddenly a couple on a adjoining boat started jestering and jumping up and down trying to get our attention (my attention as it turned out). The male,my feeble memory couldn't bring back in time but the distinctive blue eyes of the female even with a hood on immediately triggered my memory. Those eyes could only belong to one person, Pirjo Pellet and that of course identified the male as Francis her husband. Francis and Pirjo are incredible slug hunters with Pirjo usually at point if she isn't carrying a camera. Anyhow, we compared notes on slugs found and as expected they had more than doubled my feeble count of 75 after seven days of diving. What can I say, that's the way it worked out but after seeing Pirjo in action at Cebere, France in the summer of 2005, their count didn't surprise me. Pirjo's eyes are only surpassed in their beauty by their ability to find slugs!

Francis and Pirjo have been busy coordinating the Cebere Sea Slug course for the past couple of years. Boy would I like to get back! Maybe in addition to seeing Francis and Pirjo again, I'll see you there!

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif
Nov. 2008

Send Pirjo email at pirjo.pellet@free.fr

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

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2008. All Rights Reserved.