Chromodoris cf. africana from Exmouth, Western Australia

April 4, 2008
From: Bruce Potter

Dear Bill,

I recently dived the Navy Pier at Exmouth. This site has been unavailable to the public for some time, but has just recently been made accessible again. It is a truly phenomenal dive site.

A school of Grey Nurse sharks has recently moved in there. There were masses of Nudi's amongst lots of other stuff. I came away with quite a few chromodorids of similar colour and found myself uncertain of the identity of a few. I will send you 4 or 5 separate messages to try and confirm the identity of them all. [#20981, #20982,#20983,#20984 ]

Locality: Exmouth, 10 - 12 metres, Western Australia, Indian Ocean, 5 October 2007, Rubble under Jetty. Length: 35 mm. Photographer: Bruce Potter.

The first one I am fairly certain is Chromodoris strigata. There were lots of these. They are all in about 10 - 12 metres depth.

Bruce Potter

Potter, B., 2008 (Apr 4) Chromodoris cf. africana from Exmouth, Western Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Bruce,

I'll do your series of messages together. They are an interesting insight into this group of similarly coloured animals. I can't give a complete answer to them all I am afraid, we still have things to learn.  If you regularly visit this spot and your 'to do' list still has a gap in it, it would be nice to know who mates with whom, which sponges they eat and what their egg ribbons look like.

This animal is not C. strigata. In that species there is a distinct pattern of uncolored, translucent patches on the mantle which look very dark grey in photos. Your animals are what I am calling Chromodoris cf. africana. They look somewhat similar to C. africana from the western Indian Ocean but I suspect the similarity is superficial. Most examples of this 'species' are from Western Australia.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Apr 4). Comment on Chromodoris cf. africana from Exmouth, Western Australia by Bruce Potter. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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