Ontogenetic colour change in Notodoris

November 29, 2002
From: Richard Willan

Dear Bill,
I think your hypothesis that the coloration of the rhinophores of Notodoris gardineri changes from black to yellow as an animal grows up from a juvenile to an adult is correct. I have photographs of four different juvenile animals between 10 to 14mm long alive [including the one identified as Notodoris sp. 1 in Marshall & Willan (1999)], all with black rhinophores, and I have never seen a juvenile this size with yellow rhinophores. One juvenile animal of 26mm had pale grey rhinophores indicating the colour change was occurring at that size.

Actually this phenomenon may occur in all the three yellow species of Notodoris.
I attach an image of a juvenile (22mm long alive) Notodoris citrina. Notice that it too has black rhinophores.

Photo location: 15 metres depth, Outer Gneering Shoals, off Mooloolaba, southern
Queensland, R.C. Willan, 7 July 1990.

Richard Willan


Willan, R., 2002 (Nov 29) Ontogenetic colour change in Notodoris. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8531

Thanks Richard,
I had been wondering whether anyone knew anything about juvenile N. citrina. It certainly seems the 3 yellow species start life with black rhinophores.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Nov 29). Comment on Ontogenetic colour change in Notodoris by Richard Willan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8531


Notodoris citrina

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