Chromodoris marislae from Mexico

April 18, 2002
From: Alicia Hermosillo

Dear Dr. Rudman,
Last Saturday I went diving to the Islas Marietas, North tip of Bahia de Banderas, Pacific Coast of Mexico, and found this specimen of Chromodoris marislae, and three more, at 33 feet deep.

By chance a week ago I had asked myself if this species was perhaps confined to deeper water in Bahia de Banderas as the only one I had seen previously was from 187 feet. So it only took me a week to answer my question!
Alicia Hermosillo

Hermosillo, A., 2002 (Apr 18) Chromodoris marislae from Mexico. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Ali,
I hope all your questions can be answered so quickly. By the way have you come across any other orange spotted species yet? This animal looks quite similar to Tyrinna evelinae which is reported from the eastern Pacific, so I wondered perhaps if you have an orange-spotted colour group there.

The second point worth considering is whether this is really a Chromodoris at all? I wouldn't be at all surprised if this species was actually a species of Tyrinna. Your photo suggests the inner row of large orange spots may be a series of large mantle glands [MDFs] and the smaller outer spots could easily hide smaller glands beneath. The secondary branching on the gills is also quite unlike a species of Chromodoris. The only information I can find on the anatomy of this species are the radular descriptions in Bertsch, et al (1973) and Bertsch (1978). The radula formula is consistent with both genera, and the presence of a central [rachidian] tooth which sometimes has a bifid cusp is certainly unusual for Chromodoris. Clearly the reproductive system needs to be examined and the radula re-examined. It is interesting to compare C. marislae with the comprehensive redescription of Tyrinna nobilis by Munia et al (1996). That species is very similar in colour and shape and found on both coasts of southern South America.

• Munia, C., Valdes, A. & Ortea, J. (1996) Redescription of Tyrinna nobilis Bergh, 1898 (Opisthobranchia: Chromodorididae) from Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 62: 265-273.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Apr 18). Comment on Chromodoris marislae from Mexico by Alicia Hermosillo. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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