Re:Dermatobranchus ornatus from Thailand, colour variation

February 10, 2009
From: Marcel Tanke

Concerning message #9066:

Hi Bill,
A record of Dermatobranchus ornatus from Thailand with a light green mantle on which the orange crater rings are clearly visible. It is sitting (feeding?) on something I cannot identify. It is not the gorgonian soft coral behind it.
The lower photo shows triangular black marks on the front of the rhinophore stalks.

Locality: Dive site Bida Nok, 15 meter, Thailand, Andaman Sea, 25 January 2009, sandy area. Length: 7 cm. Photographer: Marcel Tanke.

Best regards,

Tanke, M.A., 2009 (Feb 10) Re:Dermatobranchus ornatus from Thailand, colour variation. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Marcel,

I think from earlier messages we can be pretty sure that this species feeds on gorgonian soft-corals. Looking at your photos I think the animal is sitting on a branch of the gorgonian on which all the living tissue has been eaten off and we are left with just the skeletal framework.

I have also included a close-up showing how the rhinophore leaflets in arminids are arranged vertically, rather than the dorid method of arranging them horizontally

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (Feb 10). Comment on Re:Dermatobranchus ornatus from Thailand, colour variation by Marcel Tanke. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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