Re: Ken Ashman's Dendrodoris (1)

April 24, 2003
From: Jun Imamoto

Dear Bill,
When I saw Bruce Wight's photo of Dendrodoris from California, its form and a pattern reminded me of an animal I have found here in Japan - but the bakground colour is really different.

The animal in my photos from Sagami Bay are orange, and it was found under a rock with an orange sponge. Perhaps there is some relationship between the colour of the animal and its food sponge. I thought this animal was a colour form of Dendrodoris fumata until now.

Manazuru, Sagami Bay, Japan
size approx: 10 mm, Intertidal.
Temp: 23 C, 19 Oct 2002.
Photos: Jun Imamoto

I would be very happy if I could hear your comment. I have posted further photos in a separate message.
Best Regards,
Jun Imamoto

Dear Jun,
This is certainly Dendrodoris fumata. As I have illustrated on the species Fact Sheet, this is a highly variable species. There are a group of species worldwide which have black patches on the mantle. I am not sure if that means they are related or whether it is a coincidence. Considering that there are species which range from California, around the northern Pacific to Japan, a connection between the the black-spotted Japanese D. fumata and the Californian Dendrodoris sp. 4 certainly needs to be considered.

Your red animals are all quite small. Both D. fumata and D. nigra have a red juvenile colour form. I am not sure if it related to their food sponge, simply beause we don't know enough about their food preferences.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Apr 24). Comment on Re: Ken Ashman's Dendrodoris (1) by Jun Imamoto. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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