Phyllodesmium macphersonae (Burn, 1962)

Phyllodesmium macphersonae
Phyllodesmium macphersonae
Ian Shaw
Friday, 17 April 2015
Jones Point, Wooli

Probably common throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed through the tropical Indo-West Pacific region. In Australia recorded from southern waters including Tasmania.

Ecological Notes:

Usually found on rocky reef in relatively shallow waters where it feeds on undetermined species of octocorals.

Additional Notes:

Specimen pictured discovered in shallow rock pool. This species retains symbiotic zooxanthellae in its body which provides a food source for the animal. "The brown patches which form such a prominent element of its colour pattern are in fact 'gardens' of zooxanthellae, arranged in special branches of the digestive system, so that they are able to get sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. It grows to about 15mm in length", Bill Rudman, The Sea Slug Forum, April 29, 2001.