Dendrodoris aurea and D. carneola

March 15, 2000
From: David Freemantle

Just inquiring about the differences between Dendrodoris aurea & D. carneola, as they are too similar for me to distinguish between them (as seen in Sea Slugs of WA). Please find attached 3 images, taken at 3 different locations (2 from Cockburn Sound, Western Australia & the bottom left from Rye, Victoria). I assume they are all "D. carneola" (as it is probably more common), or are they?.

Thanks for your help
David Freemantle

Freemantle, D., 2000 (Mar 15) Dendrodoris aurea and D. carneola. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear David,
I am pretty sure your animals are Dendrodoris carneola which ranges in colour from deep reddish-brown to translucent white, although it is usually either orange or red. There are often, but not always, scattered white specks on the mantle.

Dendrodoris aurea is usually a bright yellow colour, but also ranges from dark red to translucent white. It differs in having low rounded pustules over the mantle and no white specks. It is very similar externally to Neodoris chrysoderma but in that species the pustules are usually a lighter colour and the head is typical for the Eudoridoidea rather than the very reduced head typical of a dendrodorid.

I have added pages on both species for you to compare.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Mar 15). Comment on Dendrodoris aurea and D. carneola by David Freemantle. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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