Dendronotus diversicolor
Robilliard, 1970

Family: Dendronotidae


Alaska to California.


Upper: Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, Boundary Pass, Washington, USA, NW Pacific. Depth: 70'. Length: 4" 09 Sept 2005. Rocky slope with small fern-like plants. Photographer: Jack Connick. Lower: 20 meters at Mono Lobo Wall in Carmel, California, 40mm long. PHOTO: Clinton Bauder

Note added 28 July 2007: There is some suggestion that this is a colour form of Dendronotus albus - [see message #16223].

The translucent body can be either white or lilac, with lilac animals varying in shades from pink to pale violet. An opaque white, or an opaque orange-yellow pigment may be present on the upper third of the main ceratal branches, and the tips of other tentacular projections of the body. There is an opaque white line down the dorsal midline, from the last cerata to the posterior tip of the body.

The body is more laterally compressed than other species in this genus, and the lack of cerata in the posterior third of the body gives it a long 'tail'. There are 4, sometimes 5, pairs of tall slender, sparsely branched cerata. The oral veil bears 3 pairs of sparsely branched papillae.

 In the field they have been found associated with a number of species of hydroid but in the laboratory they prefer species of Abietinaria and Hydrallmania distans [see Robilliard, 1970]. Dendronotus diversicolor grows to approximately 70 mm.

  • Robilliard, G.A. (1970) The systematics and some aspects of the ecology of the genus Dendronotus (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia). The Veliger, 12(4): 433-479.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2005 (October 3) Dendronotus diversicolor Robilliard, 1970. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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