Black Notodoris gardineri from the Maldives

July 28, 2008
From: Marcel Tanke

Hi Bill,

In January 2008 at North Male atoll, Maldives, we found an all black form of Notodoris gardineri. Size, say 8 cm. It was moving on a yellow sponge. At the food of the same sponge was another Notodoris gardineri, but much bigger. Say, 20 cm long and 7 cm wide (lower photo ). During the same dive we saw several more, all feeding on the same type of yellow sponge.

Locality: North Male atol, 15 meters, Maldives, Indian Ocean, 3 January 2008, reef. Length: 8 cm and 20 cm. Photographer: Marcel Tanke.

Best regards,

Tanke, M.A., 2008 (Jul 28) Black Notodoris gardineri from the Maldives. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Marcel,

Thanks for these photos. Nathalie Yonow (1993) reported on this very black colour form from the Maldives and gave it a varietal name N. gardineri var nigerrima. Although 'variety' names have no status in nomenclature her suggestion that all the gardineri-like animals need investigation is probably true. One thing that looks a bit strange to me is the bright yellow rhinophores in your juveniles. In the Pacific, small juveniles we identify as N. gardineri, have black rhinophores, which go through a black-tipped stage before becoming completely yellow as they grow bigger. Certainly something worth following up.

  • Yonow, N. (1994) Opisthobranchs from the Maldive Islands, including descriptions of seven new species (Mollusca: Gastropoda) . Revue française d'aquariologie, 20: 97-129. [for 1993]
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Jul 28). Comment on Black Notodoris gardineri from the Maldives by Marcel Tanke. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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