Doto varaderoensis from Florida

June 3, 2009
From: Linda Ianniello


Dr. Bill,
I just sent you three images of what I believe are Doto uva [#22477]. Here are two images of another Doto from the same area, that I think is Doto varaderoensis which you don't have listed on the forum. Hope these images help.

Locality: Lake Worth Lagoon, 20 feet, Florida, USA, Atlantic, Tidal, intracoastal. Length: 0.75 inch. Photographer: Linda Ianniello.


Ianniello, L.M., 2009 (Jun 3) Doto varaderoensis from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Linda,

This is a good example of the value of 'biological' information. As I discussed in your other message [#22477] I am having a lot of difficulty identifying the Caribbean species of Doto. Your animals look quite like the photo identified as D. varaderoensis in Caribbean Sea Slugs, but I was less confident when I checked Ortea's review because there were a number of species which seemed to partially fit. Luckily, Ortea reports it feeding on a species of hydroid in the genus Thyroscyphus, and includes a photo showing the animal on a branch of the hydroid where there are two large brown inflated cup-like thecae - the large case which protects each polyp in these hydroids.

I had already included some close-ups of the hydroid your animal was on, because I thought the large cup-shaped theca might be useful. I didn't realise I would be using it myself to confirm your species is D. varaderoensis. I am not a hydroid expert, but hydroids with such large theca are not that common, so adding the similarity of the hydroid to what we know of the shape and colour of the Doto, I am more confident than I usually am with this genus, to identify it as  D. varaderoensis

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (Jun 3). Comment on Doto varaderoensis from Florida by Linda Ianniello. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Doto varaderoensis