Lecithophorus capensis
Macnae, 1958

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Gymnodorididae


It appears to be endemic to the Cape Province, South Africa. Uncommon intertidally it is one of the most common nudibranchs seen around the Cape Peninsula, in depths from 2m to 30m and deeper. 


Locality: Cape Peninsula, 2 to 30 m, South Africa, Atlantic, Vertical reef walls. Length: 20mm. Photographer: Guido Zsilavecz.

Animal is a translucent whitish colour with the browns and yellows of the internal organs showing through the semitransparent body wall. It is elongate, with the mantle skirt reduced to a narrow ridge. The simple pinnate gills are relatively small, forming a ring around the anus in the posterior midline. They do not retract into a gill pocket but can contract to quite small lumps when the animal is disturbed. 

Lecithophorus capensis grows to about 20 mm in length, but are often smaller. Gosliner notes that this species is uncommon intertidally but one of the most common subtidal nudibranchs on both sides of the Cape Peninsula. It appears to be endemic to the Cape Province, South Africa.  It is reported to feed on erect bryozoans.

  • Macnae, W. (1958) The families Polyceridae and Goniodorididae (Mollusca, Nudibranchiata) in southern Africa. Transactions Royal Society South Africa 35(4), 341-372. (Pls.17-18)
  • Gosliner, T. M. (1987) Nudibranchs of Southern Africa, a guide to the Opisthobranchs of southern Africa. Monterey, Sea Challengers.  1-136.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2007 (May 18) Lecithophorus capensis Macnae, 1958. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/lecicape

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