Re: Doriopsilla miniata and its egg-ribbons

July 18, 2003
From: Kirsten Benkendorff

Hi Bill and Marina,
I was interested to see your Marina's pictures of Doriopsilla areolata and its egg-ribbons. I agree with Bill that the adults look very similar to Doriopsilla miniata but the egg masses are quite different - see my picture of eggs deposited in the lab - same egg masses were observed with the adults in the field. The eggs are red not yellow, much larger and fewer in number!

Doriopsilla miniata collected from North Shellharbour, [near Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia] with egg ribbon deposited in aquaria, January, 1998


Thanks Kirsten,
Your photo and Marina's well illustrates the value of recording and identifying egg ribbons, feeding behaviour etc. Bob Rose (1985) reported that D. miniata had a form of direct development in which the embryo in the egg capsule, goes through a veliger stage but the veliger is not fully developed - they lack an operculum, the velum is much reduced etc - and then the larva metamorphoses into a small crawling slug before hatching. As we can see in Kirsten's photo, the eggs are much larger and fewer than in Marina's photos of the egg ribbons of D. areolata. I can find no information on the development type of the Atlantic D. areolata, but from the much smaller egg size I would suspect it is not a direct developer, and so despite their external similarity, these 2 species are clearly distinct.

• Rose, R. A. (1985} The spawn and development of twenty-nine New South Wales opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 108(1): 23-36.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Jul 18). Comment on Re: Doriopsilla miniata and its egg-ribbons by Kirsten Benkendorff. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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