Chromodoris woodwardae
Rudman, 1983

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Chromodorididae


Endemic to New South Wales, eastern Australia


Upper: Dark colour form on food sponge Callyspongia sp.. Note egg mass with large direct-developing eggs. Kurnell, Botany Bay, New South Wales, May 1984. Lower left: Pale colour form on pale colour form of same sponge. Locality as above. Lower right: Kurnell, Botany Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, 12m, May 1984, white form on food sponge. AM C142139. Photos: Bill Rudman.


Defensive colouration in sea slugs

Most chromodorids have mantle glands containing distasteful chemicals they have removed from the sponges they feed on. These glands are particularly obvious in this species as the white patches around the mantle edge. Another example of these glands can be seen in Mexichromis macropus .

There are many red and orange-spotted species of chromodorid in New South Wales and southeastern Australia. I have discussed this example of mimicry on a separate page.

• Rudman, W.B. (1983a) The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: Chromodoris splendida, C. aspersa and Hypselodoris placida colour groups. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 78: 105-173.
• Rudman, W.B. (1991) Purpose in Pattern: the evolution of colour in chromodorid nudibranchs. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 57, (T.E. Thompson Memorial Issue): 5-21.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (October 14) Chromodoris woodwardae Rudman, 1983. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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