Re: Chromodoris heatherae from Port Elizabeth

September 29, 2003
From: Charles Rowe

Dear Bill,
The "beast" was approximately 10 to 20mm in length but it was not easy to estimate. Definitely small! Looking at the photos you have included for me to compare the beast with I would say it might be the same but only if they are very variable.
Charles Rowe

Thanks Charles,
We still have a lot to learn about these animals worldwide so to some extent the Forum is a 'selfhelp' institution. Amateur naturalists have always been an invaluable help to professional scientists, who are very few in number. I agree that your animal appears to differ from 'typical' C. heatherae in some aspects of the colour pattern, but as we know little about that species, it's a bit hard to be sure how much colour variation it has. Perhaps you would be willing to help by keeping an eye out for red-spotted chromodorids. If your were able to photograph where they live - preferably what sponges they are frequenting - and catch them laying eggs, it would help us determine how many red-spotted species occur in your part of the world. Most species are very particular as to which species of sponge they will eat, and often the egg ribbons of diiferent species will be quite different, so even before looking at their anatomy we can often get some good clues to what is and what isn't a different species.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Sep 29). Comment on Re: Chromodoris heatherae from Port Elizabeth by Charles Rowe. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Chromodoris heatherae feeding
    From: Charles Rowe, February 25, 2004
  2. Chromodoris heatherae from Port Elizabeth
    From: Charles Rowe, September 25, 2003
  3. Chromodoris heatherae from South Africa
    From: Valda Fraser, July 11, 2000

Show factsheet and all related messages