Dendronotus? from Sulawesi

March 22, 2000
From: Lindsay Warren

Dear Bill
In 1998 I emailed you a photo of a similar specimen found in 1997.  In 1999 we found a further three and pictured here is the one found by Bryan Lee at 4 pm on 10 August 1999 at a depth of 52 ft on coraline algae off Karang Kaledupa  [Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia - Operation
].  Size: 6 mm.

The body is creamy white with a pale orange on the notum and irregular dark brown patches down its length.  On either side are four cerata with branched tips.  The rhinophores are vivid orange, lamellate and can be
retracted into long sheaths.  There are two pairs or feathered processes at the anterior end, the lower pair being smaller than the upper pair.  Dark areas in the body going into the cerata look as if they might be digestive glands.   When in mid water it wriggles from side to side like a Bornella.

They tend to be quite sensitive to handling so one has to be quick to photograph and illustrate them.  Photo: Lindsay Warren.

I thought you might like to see this shot as it is conserably sharper than the first one and might help in its identification.

All the best
Lindsay Warren

Warren, L., 2000 (Mar 22) Dendronotus? from Sulawesi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lindsay,
Thanks for the excellent description and the photo. All the evidence suggests a species of Dendronotus, which as I said before, is an unusual genus to find in tropical waters. I think all other species are from cooler temperate waters.

I feel I should recognise such a distinctive beast. Has anyone seen this animal before?

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Mar 22). Comment on Dendronotus? from Sulawesi by Lindsay Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Dendronotus sp. 1

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