Chromodoris dianae vs. C. lochi

July 27, 2007
From: Erwin Kodiat

Concerning message #8098:

Hi Bill,
I find it is difficult to distinguish some Chromodoris lochi with yellow gill and rhinopores from C. dianae.

I identify a species as C. lochi if it has pink or yellow tinted translucent rhinophores and gills (but with no white dots like in C. willani). The mantle of C lochi is a uniform colour and smooth looking, without any white specks.
I identify an animal as C. dianae, if it has pale blue based gills and rhinophores, with orange yellow or deep yellow tips, and mantle which has white specks or dots hence not smooth looking.

In this above message, you identify an animal with yellow gills & rhinopores  as C. lochi. Can you help me clarify this?

Thanks in advance,
Erwin Kodiat.

Kodiat, E., 2007 (Jul 27) Chromodoris dianae vs. C. lochi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Erwin,

The authors of C. dianae described two colour forms, one with translucent yellow-orange gills and rhinopores and one with gills and rhinophores which were white in the bottom half and yellow in the upper half. I discussed this with the authors and they said all intermediates between the two colour variants could be found. The key difference between C. dianae and C. lochi is not the rhinophore colour but the small white specks all over the mantle in C. dianae. As you say, these white specks are not present on the mantle of C. lochi. Concerning the intense yellow rhinophores and gills we sometimes find in C. lochi, I have looked at the anatomy of a wide variety of animals with different gill colour and can find no differences. That is not to say they may not turn out to be different - the reason I looked at so many was because I had a 'gut feeling' they were different - but I can't see how we can differentiate them at present. I am now beginning to wonder if perhaps food may play a part, but it's very early days on that idea.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Jul 27). Comment on Chromodoris dianae vs. C. lochi by Erwin Kodiat. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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