Doto kya from British Columbia

April 19, 2002
From: Marli Wakeling

Hi Bill,
Here is what I think is Doto kya. It is very small, only several millimetres in length. It was found at a site near Port Hardy, British Columbia named "Tunicate Bay", where there were many colonial tunicates, named Distaplia occidentalis. Several other Doto species were found at this site; could these tunicates be a food source? I always thought 'Dotos' fed on hydroids.

PHOTO: Tunicate Bay, Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada
DEPTH: 45 feet
DATE: August 12, 2001
PHOTO: Marli Wakeling


Wakeling, M., 2002 (Apr 19) Doto kya from British Columbia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Marli,
I guess anything is possible but I suspect that creeping all over the substrate are microscopic hydroid colonies. As well as the larger more bushy hydroid colonies there are many species which consist of a single stolon or 'root-like' tube which extends across a substrate much like a fungal hypha, giving off single stalks at regular intervals. Often these can only be seen with a binocular microscope - a difficult instrument to use underwater.

I'm afraid I can't make any sensible comment on the identification of these species of Doto. They are definitely the domain of a local expert.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Apr 19). Comment on Doto kya from British Columbia by Marli Wakeling. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Doto kya

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