Doriopsilla carneola with eggs, Tasmania

March 24, 2006
From: Robin Thomson

A dive buddy photographed this nudi while on a recreational scallop dive. We see lots of them when diving on the scallop beds in the D'entrecasteaux Channel between Bruny Island and Tasmania, near Hobart, Australia. We're 99% certain they are Doriopsilla carneola. This one is in 7.5 m of water and was about 55 mm long. They also come in red and lime yellow shades but the vast majority are this orange colour. My buddy also found some at the bottom of a 30 m deep trench in the Channel. It is next to and had probably just finished laying a string of eggs inside an old, dead, scallop shell.

Locality: Dentrecasteaux channel, Hobart, 7.5 m, Australia, Southern ocean, 18 March 2006, Muddy, silty. Length: 55 mm. Photographer: Mitchell Rolls.

Robin Thomson

Thomson, R.B., 2006 (Mar 24) Doriopsilla carneola with eggs, Tasmania. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Robin,
I agree with your identification, and since we know the egg ribbon of Doriopsilla carneola, from Bob Burn's work (Burn, 1989), I can say this animal is most likely the proud parent. In this species the eggs are quite large and the young hatch out, not as small swimming veliger larvae, but as slightly larger (about 0.8 mm long) crawling slugs. If you see these animals regularly, it might be interesting - to me at least - if you could keep an eye on some egg masses and see if you can find some crawling juveniles. Usually the egg ribbons are laid quite close to the food sponge so the juveniles have a ready supply of food when they hatch.

  • Burn, R.F. (1989) Opisthobranchs (Subclass Opisthobranchia). In: Marine Invertebrates of Southern Australia, Part 2. (Eds: Shepherd, S.A. & Thomas, I.M.) Government Printer (South Australia), Adelaide, 725-788.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Mar 24). Comment on Doriopsilla carneola with eggs, Tasmania by Robin Thomson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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