Eubranchus mandapamensis
(Rao, 1968)

Family: Eubranchidae


Originally described from Mandapam in south-eastern India. Possibly has a widespread Indo-West Pacific distribution.


Rock patch, Mandavi, Ratnagiri, 0.5 feet, Maharashtra, India, Arabian Sea, 08 February 2009, below rock in the Rock pool, Intertidal with . Length: 10 mm. Photographer: Vishal Bhave.

Originally described from Mandapam in south-eastern India, the characteristic external features of this species include the shape and colour of the cerata and the rhinophores.

The cerata are inflated with two rings of rounded tubercles. The original description describes grey spots all over the body and orange patches on the cerata. Also described is a 'bright yellowish orange band .. on the subapical region of the cerata, and another pink or purple-coloured band just below the subapical region'. The rhinophores are described as having 'three to five annulations at equal distance'.

Terry Gosliner suggested to me some years ago that he thought Eubranchus rubropunctatus and E. mandapamensis to be synonyms but I felt there were enough inconsistencies in Rao's description to wait until we had more information. Vishal Bhave's photos certainly match Rao's description of E. mandapamensis quite well and certainly link Edmund's description of the cerata of E. rubropunctatus with two subapical ceratal yellow bands and a bluish band with red spots between, with Rao's description of an orange band near the tip with a pink or purple-coloured band just below.

However  E. rubropunctatus has distinct papillae scattered over the rhinophores while Rao clearly describes and draws evenly spaced annulations on the rhinophores. A third 'form' I have seen has smooth rhinophores [Eubranchus cf. rubropunctatus from Hong Kong].

While it is possible that one species could have this degree of rhinophoral variability I can't think of an example. At this stage I suggest we take a conservative approach and keep the three rhinophore types separate until we know more about the anatomy and variability of this species or group of species.

  • Gosliner, T. 1990. Additions to the aeolidacean fauna of the tropical eastern Pacific. Western Society of Malacologists Annual Report, 22: 16.
  • Rao, K. P. 1968. On a new genus and some new species of opisthobranchiate gastropods of the family Eubranchidae from the Gulf of Mannar. Proceedings of the Symposium on Mollusca held at Cochin from January 12 to 16, 1968. Symposium series 3, part 1, pp. 51-60. Marine Biological Association of India, Mandapam Camp, India.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2009 (May 15) Eubranchus mandapamensis (Rao, 1968). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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  1. Eubranchus rubropunctatus or E. mandapamensis
    From: Lawrence Neal, April 13, 2010
  2. Re: Eubranchus mandapamensis from Ratnagiri, India
    From: Vishal Bhave, May 20, 2009
  3. Eubranchus mandapamensis from Ratnagiri, India
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