Colour variation in Dendrodoris carneola

August 20, 2000
From: Stuart Hutchison

Dear Bill,
I'm not sure what these guys are, but you can see the great diversity in colour. They also seem to have white tubercles or 'blotches' all over their backs too. I actually moved four of the five animals to the same sponge - from very close by. There were literally dozens of them around and several were on different coloured sponges. They were located in Whyalla (South Australia) in 3-4m water on mossy/weedy rock. They were an average size of about 2 inches (50mm) as the larger ones in these photos. They were photographed this month (August 2000).

The two at bottom left are mating.

I thought perhaps Neodoris chrysoderma or Doriopsilla carneola - but I have more distinctive shots of those types from around here - I will send those soon.

Stuart Hutchison.

Hutchison, S., 2000 (Aug 20) Colour variation in Dendrodoris carneola. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Stuart,
I am pretty sure that these are Dendrodoris carneola which is distinguished by the closely spaced small papillae all over the mantle, which as you can see in the close-up I have included alongside, exude a white secretion when disturbed.

It would be good to see a few photos of them on the actual sponges they were on to see if there was any relationship between their colour and the colour of the sponges.

I have used the genus name Dendrodoris as a temporary because until we have a clearer understanding of the anatomy of the Australian dendrodorid species, and the differences between Dendrodoris and Doriopsila.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Aug 20). Comment on Colour variation in Dendrodoris carneola by Stuart Hutchison. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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