Behaviour of Doris odhneri

July 30, 2008
From: Jackie Hildering & Glen Miller

This individual remained suspended in this position despite the "distraction" of two divers repeatedly taking photos of it at close proximity. It was definitely alive as it briefly retracted its brachial plume when I wafted my hand above it. We have never seen this "stance" before and certainly find it unusual that it did not immediately retract the brachial plume.
Any insights Dave?

Locality: Five Fathom Rock, Port Hardy, 40', British Columbia, Canada, Port Hardy Bay (Pacific Ocean), 01 April 2007, Rocky bottom. Length: 15 cm. Photographer: Jackie Hildering and Glen Miller.

Great thanks,

Hildering, J. & Miller, G., 2008 (Jul 30) Behaviour of Doris odhneri. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jackie and Glen,

I will agree the "rearing" is unusual in this group of dorids. Rearing is common amoung phanerobranch dorids (those that cannot withdraw their gill), as discussed in my book - Nudibranch Behavior.

Although we will never know for sure, the behavior is thought to be a way for the slug to elevate itself above the substrate in search of chemical clues for its favorite prey.

Best wishes,
Dave Behrens

Behrens, D.W., 2008 (Jul 30). Comment on Behaviour of Doris odhneri by Jackie Hildering & Glen Miller. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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