Trapania melaina
Gosliner & Fahey, 2008

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Goniodorididae


Known only from the tropical Indian Ocean coast of South Africa.


Upper: Sodwana Bay, South Africa, Indian Ocean, Aug 2006, intertidal rock pools. Length: 12 mm. Photographer: Colin Ogden. Lower left: A35575. Radular morphology. Scale = 40 µm. [From Gosliner & Fahey, 2008: Fig 16C]. Lower right: A35575, South Africa, 8 mm. Photo: T. Gosliner.

The body is deep bluish black with a dusting of fine cream coloured spots. There are a line of white spots just behind each rhinophore and a yellowish patch surrounded by white spots just behind the gills. The tentacular anterior foot corners and the oral tentacles are black, but the oral tentacles are tipped with dull yellow or cream white. Similarly the rhinophores are black with a yellow or cream tip. The gills are translucent clear with yellow and black mottling. The extra-branchial and extra-rhinophoral processes are yellow with a solid black base, and there is a yellow streak at the posterior tip of the body/foot.

The living animal grows to at least 8 mm in length.

This species was previously known on the Forum as Trapania sp. 10.

  • Gosliner, T.M. & Fahey, S.H. (2008)  Systematics of Trapania (Mollusca: Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae) with descriptions of 16 new species Systematics and Biodiversity, 6 (1): 53-98

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2008 (March 10) Trapania melaina Gosliner & Fahey, 2008. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Another photo of Trapania melaina
    From: Colin Ogden, March 14, 2008
  2. Gosliner's Trapania sp 2 from South Africa
    From: Colin Ogden, September 6, 2006

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