Chromodoris tasmaniensis I presume

October 24, 1999
From: Des Paroz

Hi Bill

The attached photos were taken on 17 October at Toothbrush Island, off Wollongong, southern New South Wales at a depth of about 14.5m.

I've seen this species regularly at this site, generally in the same basic area. Interestingly I've not seen this species at any other sites in the Illawarra region.

We'd had a dive at the same site the day before, and I found these species in a certain spot, the next day I took the camera back (I'd been wanting to get some shots of these for a while). The nudis were within inches of where they'd been 24 hours before.

I presume these are Chromodoris tasmaniensis?

Best regards

Des Paroz

Paroz, D., 1999 (Oct 24) Chromodoris tasmaniensis I presume. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Yes this is C. tasmaniensis. In your lower photo it is clearly associated with its food sponge Darwinella gardneri. This is one of the chromodorid species which are almost always found with their particular food sponge(s). I am not sure if all the species which are found with their food are direct developers, but this species is. Most nudibranchs lay eggs which develop into larvae which hatch from an egg mass as free-swimming veliger larvae. In those species with direct development, the egg develops into a tiny crawling slug which hatches from the egg and immediately begins life as a crawling slug. In such species it is a distinct advantage for the adults to lay their eggs on their food sponge so that their hatching young have immediate access to food.

I suspect that if there is sufficient food, individuals of C. tasmaniensis stay on the same colony of sponge, or patch of colonies, for their entire life.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Oct 24). Comment on Chromodoris tasmaniensis I presume by Des Paroz. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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