Chromodoris elisabethina food

January 6, 2001
From: Cody Mott

Dr Bill Rudman had recently answered a question I had on the ID of a nudibranch I now know to be called Chromodoris elisabethina. He mentioned that they aren't suited well for the home aquaria since they eat sponges. Is this definitely true or could I have a related species that eats something else. If not, what can I feed him/her? I'm going to talk to the person which I bought it off of, but I figured it would be good to get an answer from you also.
Thank you very much,
Cody Mott

PS: Mr. Rudman please understand my second guessing of your answer, because I trust the person which I bought the nudibranch off of. I in no way meant to insult your apparent knowledge of this subject which I know reaches far more deeper than that of the person I bought it off in this subject.
Cody Mott

Mott,C., 2001 (Jan 6) Chromodoris elisabethina food. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Cody,
No I'm not insulted. It's very sensible of you to check what you read on the web as there is an awful lot of rubbish published without any quality control. All I can say is that I am a professional biologist who has spent all his career studying these animals. The Forum is published by the Australian Museum and contrary views are welcomed and published. With about 450 people visiting the Forum each day, if anyone disagrees with what I say then I usually get a message to that effect within a day or so.

The only way to really check is to either consult another expert or have a look at some books or scientific journals. If you go to the Species List and look at some of the pages on chromodorids you will find references to various scientific publications. Also have a look at the Book Review section for some books which may be of value to you.

Basically all nudibranchs are carnivores, and most are very specialised feeders. All chromodorids (including Chromodoris, Hypselodoris, Glossodoris) are sponge feeders, each species having its own preferred sponges. As I said in answer to your last message, have a look at the discusssion on the Hypselodoris bullocki pages where this very problem of what to feed them has been going on for a couple of years.

Basically your aquarium shop owner just doesn't know what they eat or has been misled by his supplier. Either way, there is no easy answer to your problem. As far as I know there is no artificial substitute.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Jan 6). Comment on Chromodoris elisabethina food by Cody Mott. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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