Doriopsilla areolata
Bergh, 1880

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Dendrodorididae


Mediterranean, Atlantic coast of Europe to France.


Upper: Bassin d'Arcachon, Atlantic coast, France. approx 40 mm, May 23, 1998. Photo: Michel Barrab├ęs.
Lower: Llafranc (Mediterranean coast of Spain), June 2002, at 14m. Size is 20mm. Photo: Patrick Heurtaux

Body and mantle range in colour from a translucent whitish cream to bright orange with a pattern of opaque white markings. The mantle is covered in low rounded tubercles. Sometimes these are surounded by a white ring, and sometimes the whole mantle is covered with a reticulate pattern of white lines. All variations can occur between these two colour extremes.
Valdes & Ortea (1997) propose 3 subspecies.
D. areolata areolata [Europe, Mediterranean, Nth Africa] - typical colour pattern with reticulate white lines
D. areolata albolineata [west Africa - Ghana - Angola] - white lines usually transeverse
D. areolata nigrolineata [Caribbean] - network of black lines.

In external colour it is very similar to the Indo-West Pacific species Doriopsilla miniata but they differ in egg morphology and larval development. [see Kirsten Benkendorff's message].

• Garcia, F.J., Garcia-Gomez, J.C. & Cervera, J.L. (1986) Estudio morfologico de las espiculas de Doriopsilla areolata (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia). Malacologia, 27(1): 83-96
• Valdes, A. & Ortea, J. (1997) Review of the genus Doriopsilla Bergh, 1880 (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia) in the Atlantic Ocean. The Veliger, 40(3): 240-254.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (August 11) Doriopsilla areolata Bergh, 1880 . [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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