Atagema spongiosa
(Kelaart, 1858)

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Dorididae


Indo-West Pacific


AM C137597, 60 mm long alive. 24 November 1982, Public swimming pool, Christmas Is., Indian Ocean. Photo: John Hicks

Formerly known as Trippa spongiosa. See message

This species is one of a number of dorids with a very sponge-like appearance. One very distinctive feature is the dark purplish underside of its mantle, with a milky green margin. Doris areolata Alder & Hancock, 1864 and Phlegmodoris paagoumenei Risbec, 1928 are two synonyms. It has a wide Indo-West Pacific distribution. Kelaart described it as a large, `semi-gelatinous' species with a deeply pitted mantle. The dorsum [or mantle] is a greenish-brown colour and their are often bluish-green mucous secretions exuding from the skin. The bottom of the deep pits all over the dorsum are sometimes blue-green with black margins and sometimes black with a blue-green marginal ring as in the accompanying photo. grows to at least 12cm long.

• Kelaart, E.F. (1858). Description of new and little known species of Ceylon nudibranchiate molluscs and zoophytes. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society,
Columbo, 3(1)
: 84-139.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (May 15) Atagema spongiosa (Kelaart, 1858). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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