Lophodoris danielsseni
Friele & Hansen, 1876

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Goniodorididae


Known only from western Norway and southern Greenland (Just & Edmunds,1985).


The Trondheim Fjord, Norway. North East Atlantic. Depth: 28 meters. Length: 10 mm. 15. January 2006. Rocky, exposed. Photographer: Kåre Telnes

These small dorids are translucent white with yellow or cream markings. The most distinctive feature of this small dorid is the nature of the mantle skirt, which has been described as umbrella-like (Just & Edmunds,1985) because it is supported by a series long spicules, which radiate out at right angles from the body to the mantle edge like the ribs of an umbrella. The mantle skirt runs around the anterior end of the body, hiding the head, and down each side. In the posterior midline,  over the posterior part of the foot, there is a V-shaped gap in the mantle skirt. The tip of each spicule extends out as a short rounded papilla at the edge of the mantle skirt given the edge a scalloped appearance. The posterior-most spicule on each side, flanking the V-shaped gap, is quite swollen. It is cream or yellow in colour as are the tips of the other mantle spicules.

There is a slightly raised ridge down the dorsal midline from between the rhinophores to the gills. This ridge is continued down the midline of the posterior foot. The lamellate rhinophores are slender and tapering, and their tips are cream or yellow. There are up to nine gills, the upper half of which are cream or yellow and quite swollen to closely resemble the posterior pair of mantle papillae. The gills and rhinophores have no pockets into which to contract. The oral tentacles are large rounded, flattened lobes. They can be yellow cream or translucent white.

Little is known of these small animals, which grow to about 10 mm in length. Since their original description, features of their anatomy were described by Odhner (1922), and until Lemche's water colour paintings were published (Just & Edmunds,1985) no colour illustrations were known. Nothing is known of its biology but Lophodoris scala feeds on Entoprocts, which are the food of the related genus Trapania.

  • Friele, H., &  Hansen, G. A. 1876. [for 1875]. Bidrag til kundskaben om de norske Nudibranchier. Videnskabs-Selskabet Forhandlinger. Christiania. pp. 69-80, pl. 2.
  • Odhner, N. H. 1922. Norwegian opisthobranchiate Mollusca in the collections of the Zoological Museum of Kristiania. Nyt Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne, 60: 1-47. [Meddelelser fra Det Zoologiske Museum, Kristiania, Nr. 1].
  • Just, H, & Edmunds, M. 1985. North Atlantic nudibranchs (Mollusca) seen by Henning Lemche, with additional species from the Mediterranean and the north east Pacific. Ophelia Suppl. 2: 1-170.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2006 (January 17) Lophodoris danielsseni Friele & Hansen, 1876. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/lophdani

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