Solid black nudibranch in aquarium

December 18, 2002
From: Jennie

A solid black nudibranch has appeared in my aquarium and I'm hoping to get an ID or basic information on it. I think it is a dorid nudibranch because it has feathery plumes in a circle on the rear end. It has two eyestalks that have a white dot on the tip, otherwise it is solid black. It is about 2-3 in. long.
Any idea?

Dear Jennie,
Certainly sounds like a dorid nudibranch, and the most likely suspect is Dendrodoris nigra. Have a look at the photos and messages on that page, and the very similar Dendrodoris fumata to get an idea of colour variation in the two species. D. nigra is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific and from queries to the Forum it seems to survive quite happily in 'live rock' which is collected and sold to the aquarium trade. I presume it is feeding on small crevice-dwelling sponge colonies also on the live rock. It will survive and grow for as long as the appropriate sponge colony survives. I don't know what sponges it eats and I suspect that even if I did, there is no way the aquarium trade has the knowledge to obtain the correct species for you on demand.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Dec 18). Comment on Solid black nudibranch in aquarium by Jennie. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Dendrodoris nigra

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