Noumea purpurea
Baba, 1949

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Chromodorididae


Known only from Japan.


Kusimoto, Japan, 15mm long, July 1999, depth: 16.5m. PHOTO: Yasuhiro Shirai.

The mantle of Noumea purpurea is a bright pinkish purple with a continuous white median band from behind the rhinophores to in front of the gills. There is an opaque white or cream-yellow band around the mantle edge and on the inside edge of this there is a thin band of purplish red usually broken into a series of irregular streaks. The rhinophores are orange-red and the simple gills are tinged with the same colour. The foot is of similar colour to the mantle with a broad whitish band at the edge.

In an earlier revision of chromodorids with this colour pattern (Rudman, 1986) the only information available on this species was the original description, and from that I decided that Noumea norba was a colour form of this species. From correspondence with Dr Baba, and exchange of anatomical information, I realise that the two species are quite distinct. There are a number of relatively small chromodorids all with a very similar colour pattern, which I have called the "Noumea purpurea - colour group", not because they are necessarily closely related phylogenetically but to make it easier to compare their very similar colour patterns.

See the Noumea purpurea Colour Group Page to compare this species with others of similar colour.

•Rudman, W.B. (1986) The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: Noumea purpurea and colour groups. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 86(4): 309-353.
•Baba, K. (1994) Descriptions of four new, rare, or unrecorded species of Hypselodoris (Nudibranchia: Chromodorididae) from Japan. Venus, The Japanese Journal of Malacology 53(3): 175-187.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (December 3) Noumea purpurea Baba, 1949. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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  1. Noumea purpurea from Japan
    From: Yasuhiro Shirai, December 4, 1999

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