Phyllodesmium crypticum (Rudman, 1981)

Distribution: 

Possibly seasonally common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Recorded from tropical eastern Australia, also Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and the Red Sea.

Ecological Notes: 

Known to live and feed on the soft coral Xenia. Depth range from intertidal to at least 23 m.

Additional Notes: 

Cryptic species which is well camouflaged amongst the colonies of the soft coral Xenia in which it lives. Stores zooxanthellae from the food source in the cerrata, presumably to obtain nourishment when they photosynthesise. Rough, knob like protrusions on cerrata an identifying feature. Grows to at least 60 mm.

References: 

Gary Cobb, David Mullins, Nudibranchs Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition, 2015. Publishers Thomas Slone, Masalai Press and Tim Hochgrebe, Underwater Australasia. p.222.

Australian Museum, Sea Slug Forum. http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/phylcryp. Accessed 25/09/2018.