Unknown dorid from France

December 21, 2000
From: Alex Vanhaelen

Dear Bill,

My name is Alex VANHAELEN, from Belgium. This dorid was spotted by an acquaintance (Christian PIRON) at ERQUY (N.E. Atlantic-France - northern coast of Brittany) at the end of september 2000.

Length: 8 to 9 cm.; Number: 5 to 6 animals, sighted by several divers; Depth: 10 m.;
Eggs: ribbon, about 4 cm. in breadth, color pale yellow. They were seen on several algae, sponges and hydrozoa.

1) The surface of the back appears to be without knobs, quite smooth.
2) I spotted darker spots on the side of the back.
3) I counted about 10 to 11 gills in the branchial plume, which looks a pale purple.

I wonder if it is in the genus Jorunna, but I'm not sure and I have certainly no idea about the species name. Due to the presence of several individuals + egg ribbons, I consider this an established population and not an accidental one (e.g. an aquariologist's dump). I know of a Jorunna tomentosa in our area (UK-France-Belgium-Netherlands) but that species has never been pictured with a pantherlike color pattern.

I usd Mr PICTON's field guide, THOMPSON & BROWN 1976, De Nederlands zeenaaktslakken (= The Dutch Opisthobranchs) from SWENNEN en DEKKER (KNNV 183-sept 1987) and browsed through a lot of webpages, but to no avail. Can you help me in identifying this dorid ?

Many thanks for your help.


Vanhaelen, A., 2000 (Dec 21) Unknown dorid from France. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3295

Dear Alex,
I am not an expert on the Atlantic fauna but I think your animal is Dendrodoris limbata. See Angel Valdes' discussion below on northeastern Atlantic dendrodorids. He will certainly be able to tell us if I am right or not and whether your find outside the Mediterranean is particularly unusual.

Species of Jorunna have a furry appearance because their mantle is covered with small spiculate tubercles called caryophyllidia. I have photographs of these on the pages for Jorunna funebris and J. pantherina.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Dec 21). Comment on Unknown dorid from France by Alex Vanhaelen. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3295

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