Doto rosacea? from sthn Queensland Australia

November 26, 2008
From: Gary Cobb

Hi Bill and everyone!
Well after yet another productive 167 minute dive at Old Woman Island, we still continue to discover new species. Here is a new Doto we found on hydroids and after showing the photos to Richard Willan, we identified it as Doto rosacea. This species appears not to be part of the Forum! Richard said earlier that this species is very rare and not seen out of the Japan area.

Locality: Old Woman Island, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, 12 m, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 04 October 2008, Subtidal. Length: 11 mm. Photographer: Gary Cobb.


Cobb, G.C., 2008 (Nov 26) Doto rosacea? from sthn Queensland Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Gary,

Thanks for this interesting find. We know little about Doto rosacea Baba, 1949 other than its original description from Japan. It was described as having seven pairs of papillae (cerata) with tubercles arranged in at least 3 circlets, each circlet having up to 5 tubercles. The tubercles are described as being elongate. The upper edge of the rhinophore sheaths are lobate with 5 lobes. In general terms the animal photographed here fits that description but the colour does not.

Baba describes the body and the cerata as being rose pink, with clusters of white dots down the middle of the back and on the rhinophore sheaths. That is quite different from this animal which has a white body with distinct pink or orange spots scattered over the body. Until we know more about animals matching Baba's original description, I feel we should be cautious and call this species Doto cf. rosacea.

If anyone has photos of an animal from Japan more closely matching Baba's description I would be very glad to include it on the Forum. If Richard Willan has any futher information he would like to share with us that would be welcome to.

  • Baba, K. (1949) Opisthobranchia of Sagami Bay collected by His Majesty The Emperor of Japan. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoyen

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Nov 26). Comment on Doto rosacea? from sthn Queensland Australia by Gary Cobb. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Doto cf. rosacea