Dendrodoris atromaculata
(Alder & Hancock, 1864)

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Dendrodorididae


Tropical Indo-West Pacific


Upper: Living animal (67 mm long alive) found intertidally at Rowes Bay, Townsville, Australia. B. living animal (37 mm long alive) found intertidally at Nasese, Fiji. Photos: J. Brodie.

Dendrodoris atromaculata is one of the large tuberculate species of the genus, with a relatively high body profile and broad, but firm, mantle skirt,  crawling adults reaching up to 85 mm in length. The dorsum is covered in compound tubercules, each with a narrow stalk and a swollen midsection bearing many finger-like papillae which radiate out in a stellate pattern.

The mantle ranges in colour from pale yellow, to a brownish orange, and there are usually irregularly shaped darker brown to black patches.  The underside usually lacks markings, but specimens can have scattered small black spots (Brodie, 2004) were scattered across the ventral underside of the pale orange notum. The foot is of similar in colour to the dorsal background colour but the colour can be more intense. There can also be brown spots on the sides of the foot.
The rhinophores are relatively small with a translucent orange club and colourless stalk. There are four large and finely branched gills, and they are arranged in a cross.
Although described 150 years ago from India, there are very few records of it in the literature.
  • Alder, J. & Hancock, A. (1864) Notice of a collection of nudibranchiate mollusca made in India by Walter Elliot Esq., with descriptions of several new genera and species. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, 5: 113-147.
  • Brodie, G. D. (2004) An unusual dendrodorid: redescription of the tropical nudibranch Dendrodoris atromaculata (Alder & Hancock, 1864) (Anthobranchia: Doridoidea: Dendrodorididae). Zootaxa, 503: 1-13.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2007 (August 28) Dendrodoris atromaculata (Alder & Hancock, 1864) . [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from