Doto pita? from Hachijo Japan

June 29, 2002
From: Shouichi Kato

Dear Bill,
Here is a photo of another nudibranch I found on the same driftwood as my earlier message on Fiona pinnata. This sea slug looks like Doto pita to me. They are smaller than 10mm in size. [Hachijo Island Japan, May 2002]. Is the habitat of Doto pita on driftwood?
Please advise.
Best regards,
S. Kato

Kato, S., 2002 (Jun 29) Doto pita? from Hachijo Japan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Shouichi,
This certainly looks like the species that Baba (1971) has described from Japan as D. pita. But Doto pita was originally reported from Brazil (Marcus, 1955, 1977) and has subsequently been reported north to the Caribbean (Edmunds & Just, 1985). If this west Atlantic species also occurs in Japan, then the distribution is probably the result of human intervention (shipping etc.).

Do species of Doto normally live on driftwood? I have certainly found species of Doto on driftwood, but they are there because the hydroids they feed on are growing there. Hydroids are able to settle on any clean surfaces, so they can be found on drifting objects, but they can also be found on rocks, wharf piles, bouys etc - anywhere they can find to settle out of the plankton. At present I will call this Doto cf. pita.

• Marcus, Er. (1955) Opisthobranchia from Brazil. Boletim da Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciencias e Letras. Universidade de Sao Paulo, Zoologia, 20: 89-261. (Pls. 1-30)
• Marcus, Er. (1957) On Opisthobranchia from Brazil (2). Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology, 43: 390-486.
• Marcus, Ev. & Marcus, Er. (1963) Opisthobranchs from the Lesser Antilles. Studies on the Fauna of Curacao and other Caribbean Islands, 19(79): 1-76.
• Baba, K. (1971) Anatomical studies on three species of Doto (D. bella, D. japonica, and D. pita) from Japan (Nudibranchia: Dendronotoidea: Dotoidae. Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, 19(2/3): 73-79, Pls 4, 5.
• Edmunds, M. & Just, H. (1985) Dorid, Dendronotid and Arminid nudibranchiate mollusca from Barbados. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 51: 52-63

Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Jun 29). Comment on Doto pita? from Hachijo Japan by Shouichi Kato. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Doto cf. pita

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