Glossodoris species from South Africa

April 24, 2000
From: Valda Fraser

Dear Bill
This is a big puzzle for me.  Are both images of the same nudibranch?  I'm not sure because the one seems to have more pronounced nodules - including an irregular growth!  It would be easier if we could see it's foot.  I hope
you will be able to help.
Locality:  South coast KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, near Port Shepstone - 37m and 32m
Date:  Dec 1999
Size:  40mm (upper) and 48mm (lower)
Valda Fraser

Valda Fraser, V., 2000 (Apr 24) Glossodoris species from South Africa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Valda,
At the moment I think they are probably the same species. A character worth noting is the colour of the gills and the rhinophores. Sometimes two species almost identical in mantle colour can be distinguished on some detail of the rhinophore colour or the shape or colour of the gills. I notice the edges of the tips of the gills in the lower photo are lined with a dark colour not visible in the upper photo. Only more observations and a look at specimens will clarify the situation, but it is an example of how important it is to look for such differences. I'm glad that your seem to be developing a suspicious mind about such things.

I'm afraid I can't give this species a name other than Glossodoris sp. 7. It has similarities to two other white spotted species you have sent photos of ; Glossodoris undaurum and Glossodoris cf tomsmithi, but their are differences in mantle colour, and in the colour of the gills and rhinophores.

Can you clarify one thing for me please. In the photos there seems to be a tinge of yellow at the mantle edge. Is that so or am I imagining it?

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Apr 24). Comment on Glossodoris species from South Africa by Valda Fraser. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Glossodoris sp. 7.

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