Chromodoris verrieri from NE Bali, Indonesia

July 10, 2007
From: Lindsay Warren

Dear Bill
Another locality record for a species already featured on the Forum. This time, two specimens of what I believe to be Chromodoris verrieri. They were found at two different locations.

Locality: Upper photo: Noisy Reef, Tukad Dabu, 24 ft / 7.2 m, NE Bali, Indonesia, Tropical Western Pacific, 10 May 2006 at 10:20, Silty covered rock in low growth reef area. Length: 8 mm. Lower photo: Coral Garden, Tulamben, NE Bali, Indonesia. Tropical Western Pacific, D: 17 ft / 5.1 m. Specimen length: 18 mm. Date: 15 May 2006 at 17:26. Moving over a rubbly area within gently sloping area of reef.
Photos: Lindsay Warren.

However on reading through the information on Noumea subnivalis Baba, 1937 I think the animal in the lower images could in fact be N. subnivalis rather than C. verrieri - the marginal band appears to gradually change from red through orange to yellow and there appear to be short conical pustules on the notum. I realise that the rhinophore clubs do not appear as dark red as the ones posted previously but the it could be a minor variation in the species. I realise that N. subnivalis has only been recorded in Japan so far but perhaps it has a wider distribution. However, given that it appears to grow to at least 30 mm, it would be surprising that no adults have been spotted in Bali before, particularly since Tulamben is so heavily dived by opistho afficionados!

Looking forward to hearing your views.

All the best
Lindsay Warren

Warren, L.C.R., 2007 (Jul 10) Chromodoris verrieri from NE Bali, Indonesia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lindsay,

I'm afraid this group of chromodorids can be a little difficult, and I suspect to be really certain, some species should be examined anatomically. One example is Chromodoris albonares which is what I suspect your upper photo might be, but I am not sure. The white oversized rhinophores, with no trace of red, and the uniformly white mantle with no translucent mottling are two good characters of this species. One difficulty though is that the size of the rhinophores, disproportionally large for the size of the animal, are what most juveniles of other species look like, so when you see a small animal with large rhinophores you have to decide with few external clues, whether you have an adult C. albonares or a juvenile of another species.

Concerning N. subnivalis, I am afraid that I am not sure that all the photos identified as that species on the Forum are correctly identified. All I can really say is I think your second animal is C. verrieri. I know that doesn't make it easy for you to identify new finds, but its better to know it may be impossible to do so without an internal examination than to confidently misidentify them. Hopefully, as time goes by, we will find biological differences - perhaps egg ribbon colour and shape, or different food sponges - which will make field observations easier, but it becomes a bit of a vicious circle - when you find one laying an egg ribbon or eating a sponge, which one is it?

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Jul 10). Comment on Chromodoris verrieri from NE Bali, Indonesia by Lindsay Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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