Chromodoris from Yap

October 26, 2009
From: Sylvain Le Bris

Dear Bill,

Here two pictures of the same species of Chromodoris, I guess.
They look like C. strigata, but I am not sure because of the unbroken external black line. In the 2nd picture, we can see a part of the sponge, probably eaten by the slug.

15 m, Yap, Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific Ocean, September 2009. Length: 5 cm. Photographer: Sylvain Le Bris.


Sylvain Le Bris

Le Bris, S., 2009 (Oct 26) Chromodoris from Yap. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Sylvain,

Thanks for these photos. They help to build up a picture of what this species feeds on. The slug is Chromodoris elisabethina and it is interesting to see that one of your animals has a much paler orange colour than the other. I have often wondered why this difference occurrs in a number of these similarly coloured species, and your photos may give us a clue ... but I must emphasise the 'may give us a clue'. C. elisabethina is one of a group of black-lined species which feed on both orange-red sponges of the genus Negombata and blackish or brownish species of the family Thorectidae. I can't be sure if the animal in the upper photo has been eating the orange-red sponge, because there are other sponges present in your photo as well, but I can definitely agree the animal in the other photo has been feeding on the pale brownish sponge which I am pretty sure is a species of thorectid. It is certainly suggestive that the nudibranch with the pale watery orange colour in the mantle is eating a sponge without any red-orange colouration. We don't have enough photos of this animal on their food to see if there is any correlation between animals with bright orange colouration and orange-red sponges but it would be worth looking out for.

In an earlier message [#20951] there is an animal on a similar sponge which I suggested may be a dysideid. On reflection, I am pretty sure it is also a thorectid.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (Oct 26). Comment on Chromodoris from Yap by Sylvain Le Bris. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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