Platydoris ellioti - North Western Australia

September 15, 2005
From: Corey Whisson

Dear Bill,
We recently collected several specimens from trawls at Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay, north-western Australia. I am having trouble identifying them - mainly due to their size. Unfortunately these are preserved photos.

Locality: Exmouth Gulf (11 m, 4 August 2004), and Shark Bay, (20 m, 25 September 2003), Western Australia, Australia. Lengths: Exmouth (90 mm), Shark Bay (110 mm). Trawled. Photographer: Corey Whisson

Both animals have characteristic chocolate brown blotches on their ventral side. These appear to form two circles, with the inner circle nearest the foot having smaller sized blotches. Coupled with this, is the presence of brown speckles on the sides of the foot of the smaller [EG] (90 mm) Exmouth Gulf animal. The larger [SB ] (110 mm) Shark Bay animal has a white foot, no brown speckles. On both animals there seems to be paired black blotches in the middle of the mantle on the dorsal side.

With the literature I have read, it might be Discodoris lilacina but the sizes are much larger than the literature. Platydoris scabra has been floated?? Can you help with this?

Thank you

Whisson, C.S., 2005 (Sep 15) Platydoris ellioti - North Western Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Corey,
I am pretty sure this is Platydoris ellioti. This genus was recently reviewed (Dorgan, Valdes & Gosliner, 2002) and although the original description of this species lacked much anatomical detail, the external features and colour pattern seem fairly constant. In life your animal the underside of the mantle, and the foot, would have had a yellow or orange yellow background colour.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Sep 15). Comment on Platydoris ellioti - North Western Australia by Corey Whisson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Platydoris ellioti

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