Phestilla sp. 1

Estimated Size 5 mm
Image courtesy of Phil Woodhead
Milne Bay, PNG

Photo courtesy of Phil Woodhead

Phestilla sp. 1 (Undescribed)

This interesting looking critter is a member of the Tergipedid family, in the specialized genus that feeds on Scleractinean (stony) corals. They rasp away at the polyps of these hard corals with a single rachidian tooth.

Phil's species shown here (also on page 357 of Nudibranch and Sea Slug Identification ) is translucent in color with an opaque white digestive gland visible in each ceras. The cerata are flattened with a brown spot and one or 2 white rings.

The characteristic egg mass is scene here, is made up of a half coil or sausage shape and can be white or yellow depending on the color of the coral it is feeding on.

This species is not uncommon and known from throughout the Western Pacific.

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Dec., 2016
Send Dave email at

WEBMASTER'S NOTES: Phil's reputation as an underwater photographer preceeded him when we first met a couple of years ago at Club Ocellaris, Anilao, Philippines. Am hoping we will see more of Phil's images on the Site. As a note of encouragement, why not drop Phil a line? In the meantime, you may want to check out Phil's Wet Image Website !

Phil Woodhead on location in the Philippines

Phil has been diving for just over 30 years and taking underwater images for most of those. Born in England and now living in Cairns/Australia for the 20 years which has made the Great Barrier

Reef, PNG, Indonesia, and the Philippines accessible.

Favourite Nudibranch spots are Anilao diving with Club 'O', and Milne Bay diving with MV Chertan

Send Phil email at

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

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