Siphopteron quadrispinosum

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Siphopteron quadrispinosum
Siphopteron quadrispinosum copulating.png
Reciprocal copulation of Siphopteron quadrispinosum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Euopisthobranchia
clade Cephalaspidea
Superfamily: Philinoidea
Family: Gastropteridae
Genus: Siphopteron
Species: S. quadrispinosum
Binomial name
Siphopteron quadrispinosum
Gosliner, 1989

Siphopteron quadrispinosum is a species of small sea slug, a marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusc in the order Cephalaspidea, the headshield slugs.[1] This slug is a simultaneous hermaphrodite.


This species was originally identified in Hawaii (Kihei, Maui) and Papua New Guinea, and has a wide distribution throughout the western and central Pacific Ocean.[2][3][3]


Siphopteron quadrispinosum is a relatively small species of sea slug, growing to a maximum length of 5 mm. The body is bright yellow, and the siphon is orange-red in colour. The parapodia and siphon differ between the Papua New Guinean and Haiwaiian populations. Papua New Guinean specimens have the colouration of the siphon continuing along the posterior shield. Also, the parapodia are entirely yellow. In Hawaiian populations, the parapodia have a white margin and the orange-red colouration along the posterior shield is absent.[2][3]

Eggs of this species are pale yellow and are laid in a flattened mass.[3]


Siphopteron quadrispinosum lives at depths of 6 to 27 metres on sand beds, and among Halimeda kanaloana, a species of macroalgae.[3]


This slug can swim, and will do so when disturbed. It is active during the daytime.[3]


Siphopteron quadrispinosum is a simultaneous hermaphrodite. During mating, each animal stabs the other with a penile stylet, a form of penile appendage, and injects prostate fluids.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ "WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species - Siphopteron quadrispinosum Gosliner, 1989". 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  2. ^ a b Rudman, W.B. "Siphopteron quadrispinosum". The Sea Slug Forum. Archived from the original on 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Siphopteron quadrispinosum: main page". 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  4. ^ Pappas, Stephanie. "Rough sea-slug sex may have benefits - Technology & science - Science - LiveScience -". MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  5. ^ Lange, R.; Gerlach, T.; Beninde, J.; Werminghausen, J.; Reichel, V.; Anthes, N. (2012). Dornhaus, Anna, ed. "Female Fitness Optimum at Intermediate Mating Rates under Traumatic Mating". PLoS ONE. 7 (8): e43234. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043234. PMC 3425583Freely accessible. PMID 22937024. 
  6. ^ "Slugs benefit from getting stabbed while having sex - life - 23 August 2012". New Scientist. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 

External links

  • Precopulatory stabbing, hypodermic injections and unilateral copulations in a hermaphroditic sea slug, Nils Anthes & Nico K. Michiels (This link shows detailed anatomical images)
  • Images (The top image is a Haiwaiian specimen, and the bottom images is a Papua New Guinean specimen)
  • Image
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