Chromodoris geometrica feeding

September 4, 2007
From: Denis Riek

Dear Bill,
Here are some images of Chromodoris geometrica feeding on a dark purple sponge. Until the recent heavy rains there were many types of sponge in the Brunswick River but it appears that the very hard to see encrusting species are where I always found Chromodorids feeding. Unfortunately these sponges are so overgrown that it is very difficult to get a shot that actually shows something. These images don't show a lot but they may be of some help.

Locality: Brunswick River, 4 metres, Northern New South Wales, Australia, Pacific, 23 June 2007, Rock wall in river, high tide. Length: 40mm. Photographer: Denis Riek.


Riek, D.W., 2007 (Sep 4) Chromodoris geometrica feeding. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Denis,
These photos may not show much detail but they show enough to confirm that this is Chelonaplysilla violacea, which appears to be the favoured food of this species.

I know we need a lot of rain after years of drought, but this is the part of the Australian rain-drought cycle which is not good for coastal ecosystems as the flood of freshwater kills off many shallow water plants and animal colonies. As you have observed, much of the plant and animal growth will die off, and the animal life dependent on it for food and/or shelter will die off as a consequence. Looking at the sponge colonies in your photos, they don't look that healthy either, so it possible that C. geometrica and other chromodorids will also disappear for a while, especially around river mouths.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Sep 4). Comment on Chromodoris geometrica feeding by Denis Riek. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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