Dendronotus dalli from NW Pacific

October 4, 2005
From: Jack Connick

Dear Bill
Looked in your excellent collection and I saw Dendronotus dalli  missing so I'm sending you some photos. These were taken in the Pacific Northwest in the San Juan Islands.

Locality:  Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, Boundary Pass, Washington, USA. NW Pacific. Depth: 70'. Length: approx 6". 09 Sept 2005. Rocky slope with small fern-like plants. Photographer: Jack Connick


Connick, J., 2005 (Oct 4) Dendronotus dalli from NW Pacific. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jack,
Thanks very much. I had this species on the Forum but had listed it hesitantly as Dendronotus cf. dalli because I wasn't 100% sure of the identity of the sole photo. Your photos certainly convince me. The fern-like plants you mention are in fact hydroid colonies. They are animals, closely related to sea anemones and jellyfish, and are the food of many aeolid nudibranchs and also species of Dendronotus. Dave Behrens in Pacific Coast Nudibranchs says this species feeds on 'stalked bryozoans' but your photos seem to suggest otherwise and Gordon Robilliard (1970) reports it usually being found in association with the hydroids Abietinaria rigida and A. amphora.

Of your 3 photos, the third one, which is to the right of my comments, is almost certainly another species. The white line on the 'tail' suggests either Dendronotus albus or D. diversicolor.

  • Robilliard, G.A. (1970) The systematics and some aspects of the ecology of the genus Dendronotus (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia). The Veliger, 12(4): 433-479.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Oct 4). Comment on Dendronotus dalli from NW Pacific by Jack Connick. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Dendronotus dalli

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