Chromodoris heatherae from Port Elizabeth

September 25, 2003
From: Charles Rowe

This morning [21 September 2003] my partner and myself dived Evans Peak which is 23 kilometers off Port Elizabeth, South Africa and spotted the nudibranch below. Can anyone help me to identify it? It was in approximately 26 metres of water.

Charles Rowe

Rowe, C., 2003 (Sep 25) Chromodoris heatherae from Port Elizabeth. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Charles,
I am pretty sure this is Chromodoris heatherae, but in that species, as you will see for the photos already on the Forum, there is usually a submarginal yellow line around the mantle. There appears to be a hint of that yellow line in the close-up alongside but I can't be sure. Perhaps you could check your photos to see if you can see one.

Why I am not sure is that in southeastern Australia there is a group of very similarly coloured red-spotted species [see Red-spotted Chromodorids Page] and so its possible subtle difference in colour pattern may mean there are more than one red-spotted species in South Africa as well.

Also of interest is the pink sponge your animal is on. If I found that in southeastern Australia I would think it was the common pink Darwinella species, which many of the red-spotted species feed on. Your photo is an interesting addition. It would be useful to have some indication of size if you can.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Sep 25). Comment on Chromodoris heatherae from Port Elizabeth by Charles Rowe. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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