Chromodoris albonares
Rudman, 1990

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Chromodorididae


Known from northern New South Wales and New Caledonia. Also reported in Forum from American Samoa.


Whole animal from N.W. Solitary Id, Coffs Harbour, nthn New South Wales (9mm long), and head of specimen from Koumac, New Caledonia, showing large rhinophore clubs.
Photo: Bill Rudman.

A relatively small species of Chromodoris growing to about 15mm in length. The mantle and body have an opaque white background colour with a uniformly coloured yellowish orange border. the gills and rhinophores are translucent white with opaque white edging to the gills and rhinophore lamellae. The rhinophore clubs are relatively large for the size of the species and with their bright white edging, are a very noticeable part of the animal's shape. It is the reason I named this species albonares which means 'big nose' a reference to the 'smelling' function the rhinophores perform.

• Rudman, W.B. (1990) The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: further species of Glossodoris, Thorunna and the Chromodoris aureomarginata colour group. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 100(3): 263-326.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (January 7) Chromodoris albonares Rudman, 1990. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

Chromodoris albonares from Bali

November 18, 2002
From: Manuel Sam

Hi Bill,
I saw this in 7m of water on the black sand right off the Liberty Wreck in Tulamben. This was on October 18 2002. It was no more than 5mm long. Shot it with the Nikonos V rigged with the 2:1 framer.

At first, thought it was Ardeadoris egretta, but this one lacks the gills and the ruffled edges of A. egretta. Can you please identify? Could it just be a juvenile?

Manuel Sam

Sam, M., 2002 (Nov 18) Chromodoris albonares from Bali. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Manuel,
The proportionally large rhinophores do suggest this might be a juvenile, but it is a species which doesn't grow very large, and its large white rhinophores are one of its chracteristic features. Its name, Chromodoris albonares means 'white-nosed chromodoris' and is based on the function of the rhinophores as the organs of 'smell' in nudibranchs.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Nov 18). Comment on Chromodoris albonares from Bali by Manuel Sam. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Chromodoris albonares from Japan

September 13, 2002
From: Toru Matsumoto

Dear Dr.Rudman,
I found this at Urada Bay of Tanegashima Island, Japan. At first I didn't realized this was such a rare creature. That is why it has taken me so long to send this message. I believe this is Chromodoris albonares but its rhinophores look pale blue, so please help. The Bay where I found this is in the northest part of Tanegashima Island and is very rich in interesting creatures.

Date: 24 December, 2001
Location: Tanegashima Island, Japan.
Length: 5mm
Depth: 7m

Photo by Toru Matsumoto
(Local School Teacher)

Matsumoto, T., 2002 (Sep 13) Chromodoris albonares from Japan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Toru,
Thanks for this interesting find. Yes it does seem to be Chromodoris albonares. The large rhinophores are very distinctive. Often thin white objects appear to have a bluish tinge to them. It is not a blue pigment, just the way light is reflected and refracted in certain conditions.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Chromodoris albonares? from Japan

November 10, 2001
From: Nishina Masayoshi

Dear Rudman,
What a lovely animal this is! This may be Chromodoris albonares. I've never seen this at Hachijo Island before. I think that C. albonares and Noumea subnivalis look very much alike except for the colour of the rhinophore club.

Date: 3 Nov 2001
Loc: Hachijo Island Japan
Length: 10mm
Depth: 6m

Photo by Nishina Chikako

Best Regards,
Nishina Masayoshi

Nishina, M., 2001 (Nov 10) Chromodoris albonares? from Japan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Nishina and Chikako,
Thank you for these photos. I am pretty sure that it is C. albonares, as you suggest, even though the border is a deeper orange than I have seen before. There are a number of white chromodorids with yellow or orange borders, which differ from each other externally by quite small colour differences.

Now that we have many of them on the Forum I will try and find time to prepare a page on this colour group of species.
Best wishes.
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Nov 10). Comment on Chromodoris albonares? from Japan by Nishina Masayoshi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Chromodoris albonares from American Samoa

September 5, 2001
From: Don Barclay

Hello Bill,
I managed to get in one last snorkeling trip before I left Pago Pago, and here is the most interesting creature that I found. It looks a lot like your Chromodoris albonares, but I'm not sure if there are some features that I am missing which would lend it a different name.

It was collected 25 August 2001, about 1700 local time, crawling across a piece of coral rubble on the reef flat 1m deep, about 200 meters west of Onesosopo Point, east Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa. It measured 13mm outstretched.

Hope all is well there,
Thanks as always,

Barclay, D., 2001 (Sep 5) Chromodoris albonares from American Samoa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Don,
A nice little last find. Yes I am sure this is Chromodoris albonares. The simple colour pattern, including the heavily pigmented opaque white mantle and the prominent white edged rhinophore clubs are the reason I called it 'albonares' [= white nose]. Known at present from Eastern Australia and New Caledonia, your find increases its known distribution by a considerable distance.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Sep 5). Comment on Chromodoris albonares from American Samoa by Don Barclay. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Chromodoris at Fly Point

January 7, 1998
From: David & Leanne Atkinson.

We found this at Fly Point, Port Stephens, New South Wales over Christmas. Can you please help? It has white body, white rhinophores and gills with an orange band around the body.
David & Leanne Atkinson.

Atkinson, D. & L., 1998 (Jan 7) Chromodoris at Fly Point. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

It is Chromodoris albonares which previously had only been recorded from Coffs Harbour, NSW and I have also found it in New Caledonia. The most distinctive feature is the abnormally large white rhinophore clubs.... Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1998 (Jan 7). Comment on Chromodoris at Fly Point by David & Leanne Atkinson.. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from