Phyllidia cf. babai

Images courtesy of Marcel Tanke
Anilao, Batangas, Philippines

Phyllidia cf. babai Brunckhorst, 1993

There are three species of Phyllidia that are easily confused. As a matter of fact, unless you have that perfect "arch-type" specimen, you are pretty much up a creek for a confident ID. These three are P. babai, P. ocellata and P. willani (Courtesy of Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum).

Marcel's three specimens are far from arch-type. Heck they could be any of the three. I have chosen Phyllidia babai, primarily due to white specks on the notum and yellow marginal band, although it is much wider than usual.

The black marking are of no help at all and even confuse matters. All three have similar black circles or lines or rings. In P. ocellata they are suppose to be surrounded by a white or yellow band, but we know that is not always true, just look at the variation presented on page 287 of Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs.

In Marcel's specimens only the mid-dorsal tubercles are orange, but that's not the best characteristic to separate it from P. willani. P.willani has white specks, but it also has small white dots scattered over the notum. So "cf." Latin for "compare with" is as far as I can do for these guys.

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
Aug., 2012

Marcel and wife Marion

Marcel and Marion presently again live in their native country, the Netherlands. They started diving during the 14 years that they lived in China and Korea. Marcel has BSAC Instructor diving level. Diving took them pretty much all over Asia and many other places. Nudibranchs became their main interest after several trips to the Philippines and Indonesia. Marion is "spotter" for the nudibranchs and Marcel is taking the pictures.

Marcel is still using a "point and click" digital camera, (see ) , but upgraded to a Canon S95.

This was our 7th trip to the Anilao area of the Phillipines. In 8 dive days, 32 dives, Marion and I saw and have pictures of 170 (one hundred and seventy) different sea slugs, of which 140 different true nudibranchs! Indeed, Anilao is the nudibranchs capital of the world!

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

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