Discodoris evelinae, pretty in pink?

June 15, 2001
From: Elianny Domínguez Tejo

Dear Bill,
This nudibranch is 8 cm long. We found it in a rocky shore (under a rock) at a depth of 25 cm, in the Gaira Bay (Caribbean coast of Colombia). It´s light pink, with little white dots on the dorsal. The rhinophores are dark pink almost red, while the branchial crown is light pink (on the posterior end of the animal).

To me it looks just like Discodoris evelinae which is brown, but in pink color. Can you help me out? I'm confused between Discodoris and Dendrodoris???

Elianny Domínguez.


Domínguez Tejo, E., 2001 (Jun 15) Discodoris evelinae, pretty in pink?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4522

Dear Elianny,
This certainly looks like a Discodoris and my guess would be D. evelinae but the lack of published photos and information on the live animals of this fauna is a major problem in identification. Another possibilty is Discodoris pusae Marcus, 1955 which Thompson (1980) describes as having a pinkish tinge in smaller animals. Unfortunately both species look very similar externally, the main point of difference being the presence of long conical hooks on the penis of D. evelinae and the lack of hooks in D. pusae. One important contribution you could make is building up information on the colour variation you find in the common species you come across. There is always a chance you will mix a couple of species together but we all have that problem to begin with wherever we work. What you will need to do is keep good colour notes on all the live specimens you collect, making sure you note even the ordinary features because in a year or two you might find an anatomical difference in what you thought were one species and then you will need to hunt back to find how they differ externally.

Concerning the difference between Discodoris and Dendrodoris. I guess you mean external differences. Species of Dendrodoris are usually much softer to touch than the relatively rough skin of species of Discodoris. Also the head of Discodoris is a distinct structure with a pair of oral tentacles while in species of Dendrodoris it is very reduced and the oral tentacles become channelled ridges on each side of the mouth rather than free tentacles.

• Thompson, T.E. Jamaican Opisthobranch Molluscs II. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 46: 74-99.

Good Luck,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Jun 15). Comment on Discodoris evelinae, pretty in pink? by Elianny Domínguez Tejo. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4522

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