Dermatobranchus ornatus from Okinawa

August 8, 2000
From: Bob Bolland

Hi Bill:
Here's a JPEG of three Dermatobranchus. Quite remarkably, they were found together in a tight ball (feeding, mating?); I initally thought they were a solitary sea squirt. I was making an ascent from a complex dive (deep, poor visibility, strong current) and unfortunately I had no time to observe if the animals were associated with any particular prey, and I was forced to make a quick scoop. The area was one of mixed sand, coral rubble and a large patch of Caulerpa sp.

RFB # 3804-A, -B, -C
Seragaki, Okinawa
4 August, 2000
Depth: 56m
Length: 60mm, 62mm, 80mm

This is the first time I've seen this attractive arminian here and just thought I'd add the image to the Forum to show some of its variation.


Bolland, R.F., 2000 (Aug 8) Dermatobranchus ornatus from Okinawa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Bob,
It's Dermatobranchus ornatus, which is one of the biggest species of Dermatobranchus. You have certainly covered most of the background colour variation, but I think I have some photos of specimens in which the orange tubercles formed quite large crater-like rings. I'll try and find them.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Aug 8). Comment on Dermatobranchus ornatus from Okinawa by Bob Bolland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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