Gymnodoris nigricolor

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Gymnodorididae


G. nigricolor on the goby Amblyeleotris steinitzi (Klausewitz). 6 to 8mm long, found 22m depth. Kerama Island, near Okinawa, Japan. PHOTO: Atsushi Ono

This species has only been recorded from the Ryukyu Archipelago. It has a remarkable association with a number of species of gobies, apparently living permanently on their fins, and feeding on the skin between the fin rays. Osumi & Yamasu (1994) suggest that the association is nearer to parasitism than symbiosis.

•Baba,K (1960): The genera Gymnodoris and Nembrotha from Japan (Nudibranchia - Polyceridae). Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory 8(1): 71-74.
•Williams, E.H. & Williams, L.B. (1986) The first association of an adult mollusk (Nudibranchia: Doridae) and a fish (Perciformes: Gobiidae). Venus, The Japanese Journal of Malacology, 45(3): 210-211
• Mulliner, D.K. (1991) Contact Association between the nudibranch Gymnodoris nigricolor Baba, 1960 (Gymnodorididae) and the Datehaze Goby (Perciformes: Gobiidae). Western Society of Malacologists Annual Report 23: 17.
• Osumi, D. & Yamasu, T. (1994) The nudibranch Gymnodoris nigricolor Baba, parasitic with marine Gobies. Zoological Science, 11 (Supplement: Proceedings of the 65th Annual Meeting of the Zoological Society of Japan): 54.

Bob Bolland has a series of photos of this remarkable association between a nudibranch (Gymnodoris nigricolor) and fish (gobies).

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (March 20) Gymnodoris nigricolor [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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