Verconia verconis
(Basedow & Hedley, 1905)

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Chromodorididae


Southern Australia, (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, southwestern Western Australia).


UPPER RIGHT: 25mm long on food sponge Dendrilla rosea, LOWER LEFT: yellow juvenile, 9mm long, LOWER RIGHT: 25mm long adult. All Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, February 1985. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

Verconia verconis is one of the few chromodorids which are camouflaged by the shape and texture of their bodies, as well as by the colour of their skin. This species ranges from a deep pink in colour to yellow and orange, almost exactly matching the colour of the sponge they are feeding and living on. They also have a pale reticulate pattern over their body which matches the raised reticulate pattern formed by the fibrous skeletal structure of their food sponges. In juveniles we can see the early development of the triangular outgrowths around the mantle edge, which in adults extend into long elongate papillae. These papillae help camouflage the nudibranch amongst similar conical projections on the sponge colony. They also are defensive structures, each having a mantle gland situated at the tip. This can be seen in the juveniles, where the white mantle gland at the mantle edge, is clearly the focus point for later growth of the papillae.

• Rudman, W.B. (1984) The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: a review of the genera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 81: 115-273.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (August 29) Verconia verconis (Basedow & Hedley, 1905). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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