Doto coronata? from off New York

September 1, 1999
From: Betsey Hansen

Michael Miller identified this one for me as Doto coronata. This is another one from the Atlantic Ocean off New York. These were very small, less than 1/2 inch. Once I found the first one, I found several groups all around yellowish orange coral patches anywhere from 12 feet (4 meters) deep to 40
feet (13 meters) deep. I only spotted the eggs at first and didn't realize the tiny orange dots next to the eggs were sea slugs until I got my slides back. A welcome surprise. This picture was taken with a Nikonos V with a 2 to 1 macro framer. I found one yellow one; all the rest were orange.
Best Wishes,
Betsey Hansen

Hansen, E., 1999 (Sep 1) Doto coronata? from off New York. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Betsey,
This is another interesting find. There are a few records of Doto coronata from North America (Loveland et al, 1969) but most European workers suggest it has a much more restricted distribution in northern Europe. Of particular interest is a publication (Morrow et al, 1992) which showed that 'Doto coronata' is probably a complex of similar looking species. They used electrophoretic techniques to show that at least 3 species could be distinguished in the northern Irish Sea, each feeding on a different species of hydroid, Doto coronata on Eudendrium, and 2 new species, Doto sarsiae on Sarsia eximia and Doto hydrallmaniae on Hydrallmania falcata. Henning Lemche also considered that Doto coronata was a complex of species each species feeding on a different hydroid. See Bernard Picton's website for photos of the three species.

Possibly your species is not Doto coronata but something new.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

* Morrow, C.C., Thorpe, J.P. & Picton, B.E., (1992) Genetic divergence and cryptic speciation in two morphs of the common subtidal nudibranch Doto coronata (Opisthobranchia: Dendronotacea: Dotoidae) from the northern Irish Sea. Marine ecology progress Series, 84: 53-61.
* Just, H. & Edmunds, M. (1985) North Atlantic Nudibranchs seen by Henning Lemche. Ophelia Publications, Supplement 2: Helsingor.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Sep 1). Comment on Doto coronata? from off New York by Betsey Hansen. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Doto sp. 8

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