Opisthobranch of the Week Data
Phyllidia exquisita is considered to be very rare on Okinawa as I have seen and collected only a single individual. I have two additional "suspect" specimens (a 9mm animal from 52m & a 40mm animal from 32m), but unable to confirm the status on these two at this time. The above featured animal was found in 50m crawling on the surface at the transitional point between mixed sand/coral rubble and open sand.
The following information is taken from Brunckhorst (1993): Phyllidia exquisita is a relatively small species characterized by the presence of white, black and yellow coloration with black lines, two median longitudinal areas of white on either side of the central tubercles, small, simple rounded tubercles which occur in definite rows (but not forming ridges), a yellow edge to the margin of the mantle, and ventrally with white coloration.
Phyllidia exquisita is similar to P. ocellata but it does not possess the orange-yellow background coloration or the pattern found in P. ocellata. It is most similar to P. willani and P. babai in the possession of a white background color and black markings. Both those species are much larger. Phyllidia willani also differs from P. exquisita in having black swirls, large and small tubercles, a characteristic granular appearance to the notum, and grey coloration ventrally. Phyllidia babai has black rings (rather than lines) and larger tubercles.