Doriopsis pecten and egg ribbon from Japan

March 10, 2003
From: Nishina Masayoshi

Dear Bill,
Doriopsis pecten is always found around is blue food sponge in Hachijo Island, Japan. The body color of D. pecten seems to be a form of camouflage when it is near the the blue sponge as you can see in the upper photo. When I am looking for this species I try to find the egg mass first and then I know where the adults are likely to be. I have attached an image of D. pecten with their egg mass.

Doriopsis viridis was introduced by Baba's paper(1961) as Japanese scientific name "Ao-Kushiera-umiushi". Baba's description of D. viridis almost completely fitted the features of D. pecten, and several years later, Ao-Kushiera-umiushi's scientific name had changed to D. pecten. I have also attached J. Imamoto's image. I suspect this is green form of D. pecten.

Photos: Upper Right, Centre Left, Centre Right: 7 Sep. 2002 on Hachijo Island. Tokyo, Japan. Length: 10mm. Photo: M. Nishina
Lower Right: 25 Nov. 2001. Shimoda, Izu Peninsula, Japan. Length: 9mm. Photo: Jun Imamoto

Best Regards,
Nishina Masayoshi

Dear Nishina,
Thanks for this photo showing the blue sponge and the egg ribbon. It is interesting to see just how different it appears to be from that of D. granulosa.

I have attached J. Imamoto's image of a greenish animal alongside. Concerning the name Doriopsis viridis. It was first introduced by Pease 1861 for animals from Hawaii. Since both D. pecten and D. granulosa have greenish colour forms there has been a lot of confusion over just what Pease was describing. This is a good example of how important it can be to have natural history information, such as shape of egg ribbons and food, when describing new species.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Mar 10). Comment on Doriopsis pecten and egg ribbon from Japan by Nishina Masayoshi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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