Chromodoris tinctoria
(Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828)

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Chromodorididae


Throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific.


UPPER: Passe du Baron, off Koumac, New Caledonia, 12m, in lagoon, October 1993, 3 specimens (75, 80 & 95mm long alive). This animal showing irregular white submarginal band. Note commensal shrimp Periclimenes on back.
LOWER LEFT: Fumba, Zanzibar, Tanzania, July 1971, showing absence of white submarginal band around mantle, except anteriorly.
LOWER RIGHT: A, Lizard Is, North Queensland, June 1979, showing regular white submarginal band. B, A second New Caledonian specimen showing red spots in white border region.
PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

Although I initially thought (Rudman, 1973) there were differences between Doris tinctoria Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828, Doris reticulata Quoy & Gaimard, 1832, Goniobranchus reticulatus Pease, 1866, Chromodoris alderi Collingwood, 1881 and Chromodoris inopinata Bergh, 1905, extensive collections from throughout the Indo-West Pacific indicate that the species differences suggested by different colour patterns is not supported by internal anatomy. The earliest name for this species then is C. tinctoria. The main colour differences are found at the border of the mantle, which I have illustrated on this page. Usually there is an irregular white region between the yellow border and the red reticulate pattern which covers most of the mantle. In some animals this white region is absent or can occur just around the anterior end. In others the white region is a very regular white submarginal band, and in others small rounded patches of the reticulate pattern form red spots in the white region. Sometimes these spots are uniform red, but usually they have a red reticulate pattern.

•Rudman, W.B. (1973) Chromodorid opisthobranch Mollusca from the Indo-West Pacific. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 52(3): 175-199.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (October 30) Chromodoris tinctoria (Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828) . [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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