Help identify species & what do they eat?

August 1, 2000
From: Darla Hatton

I just purchased two nudibranches in Florida. The aquarium store told me that they feed on algae, but they don't appear to be doing well.

I found the name of one species in a book. It is called a Chromodoris bullocki. It has a white stripe at the edge of its mantle with the center being pinkish/purple. The gills and tentacles are orange/yellow.

I could not find the species of the other nudibranch -- I tried to upload a picture, but was unsuccessful. The second nudibranch has a mantle with rings of colors the first being white then orange, then white, then black, with a white center. The gills and tentacles are orange. It looks much like the first, except for the different colorations.

After purchasing them, a friend told me that he thinks they only eat sponges. Could you tell me if this is true? If so, we live in Tarpon Springs, Florida (known for its sponging industry), Could you tell me if there are any varieties of sponges that are local to this area that I could provide them with.

Any information that you could provide would be helpful.

Darla Hatton

Hutton, D., 2000 (Aug 1) Help identify species & what do they eat? . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Darla,
Shops shouldn't be allowed to sell things they know nothing about. If these animals you have bought are chromodorid nudibranchs then they are not vegetarian but specialised feeders on sponges. Have a look at the page on Hypselodoris bullocki and see if one of the photos matches your animal. If it is you will find messages and discussions on that page about keeping them in captivity. Also have a look at the messages below yours on this page which is a general place for messages concerned with keeping sea slugs in captivity.

I'm sorry you had problems sending a photo of the other animal. Send it to me attached to an email and I will have a look at it.
best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Aug 1). Comment on Help identify species & what do they eat? by Darla Hatton. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Is It Possible To legally Purchase Phyllidia ocellata?
    From: Jason Brooks, May 5, 2010
  2. Unknown sea slug
    From: Jupiter dale, March 19, 2010
  3. Re: Chromodoris annae in aquarium
    From: R. Grooters & M. Snoek, March 7, 2008
  4. Chromodoris annae in aquarium
    From: Mattias Westermark, March 5, 2008
  5. Hypselodoris bullocki and aquarium shops
    From: joshua sampson, November 21, 2004
  6. Concerning 'angelfood'
    From: Alan Osborne, March 19, 2004
  7. Hypselodoris bullocki in aquaria
    From: Steve Jen, March 19, 2004
  8. Hypselodoris picta in aquaria
    From: Susanne, March 18, 2004
  9. Question of an outsider ...
    From: Shoei, October 11, 2003
  10. More aquarium shop misinformation
    From: David Clay, March 23, 2003
  11. Need some advice - uninvited aquarium guests
    From: Jenifer, December 30, 2002
  12. Red Seaweed for sale
    From: Jim DeMattia, June 8, 2002
  13. Elysia crispata and Green Carpet Anemones
    From: Andy Feifarek, May 21, 2002
  14. Identity of Nudibranch mimic
    From: Raymond Mears , March 23, 2002
  15. Observing sea slugs in aquaria
    From: Sarah Bredensteiner, March 14, 2002
  16. We want to buy a nudibranch
    From: jennifer, March 10, 2002
  17. Opisthobranchs in Captivity - new book news
    From: Dave Behrens, February 7, 2002
  18. Introducing a sea slug
    From: Alisa Taylor, November 12, 2001
  19. More misinformation from nudibranch suppliers
    From: Michael Bloss, July 2, 2001
  20. Keeping nudibranchs in tanks
    From: Melinda Newton, May 31, 2001
  21. Keeping sea slugs in captivity
    From: Lorena Schwarz, May 28, 2001
  22. Sacoglossan Defenses
    From: Tina Calle, March 22, 2001
  23. keeping Spanish Dancers in aquaria
    From: Kyle, February 8, 2001
  24. Colored sea slug
    From: Robin, January 7, 2001
  25. Alternative to Sponges for Hypselodoris bullocki
    From: John Leventis, October 26, 2000
  26. Re: What do they eat?
    From: Darla Hatton, August 7, 2000
  27. Re: What do they eat?
    From: Darla Hatton, August 2, 2000
  28. Re: what do they eat?
    From: Darla Hatton, August 1, 2000
  29. Sea Slug Info
    From: Cherish, April 7, 2000
  30. Seaslugs as pets
    From: Steven Grant, March 29, 2000
  31. Sea Slugs in a local Mall pet store
    From: Mike Thomas, February 13, 2000
  32. Advice on keeping nudibranchs in aquariums
    From: Phanor Montoya, August 22, 1999
  33. Nudibranch I.D.
    From: Adam Walbridge, August 20, 1999
  34. Can you recommend good aquarium species?
    From: Eirik Eilertsen , July 29, 1999
  35. Nudibranchs in the Reef Aquarium
    From: Theresa Coulter, May 23, 1999
  36. Re: keeping nudibranchs in the aquarium?
    From: Rob See, January 7, 1999
  37. Sea Slugs as Pets?
    From: Sam Noe, August 10, 1998
  38. Keeping sea slugs in captivity
    From: Stephen (Max) Gillies, July 9, 1998

Show factsheet and all related messages