Doto cf. bella from New Zealand

January 24, 2005
From: Ian Skipworth

Hi Bill
I hope you had a good holiday in NZ. It's great to see the forum still operating.

The attached photo was taken recently at the Poor Knights in about 10m of water. The subject is tiny and hard to get a good look at with the naked eye. I know I snapped it at 1:1 and measure it on the photo to be about 4mm long. On a previous dive (with no camera) I found a group of three of these in 6m of water alongside what seemed to be a bright yellow coiled egg mass. I'm hoping it is a nudibranch, possibly Doto sp. Your comments would be much appreciated.

Locality: Poor Knights Islands, NE New Zealand, Depth: 10m
Length: 4 mm. 15 January 2005, rocky reef
Photographer: Ian Skipworth


Skipworth, I., 2005 (Jan 24) Doto cf. bella from New Zealand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Note added 7 Sept 2005: See later message [#14615] showing purple rather than black coloration and therefore not Doto bella.

Dear Ian,
It is nice to return to a collection of messages from New Zealand. Yes I had a good holiday - with a definite emphasis on holiday. By coincidence I was staying at Lang's Beach and on a clear day as I lazed on the beach I could see the Poor Knights on the horizon. Little did I know that you were slaving away out there!

Your animal is a species of Doto which has been tentatively identified by New Zealand worker with the Japanese Doto bella, which I commented on in an earlier message [#5822] from Gareth Jones. It is possible your animal is the same as Gareth's but I can't see the colour of the rhinophores in your animal. In fact it looks like the head has been damaged.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Jan 24). Comment on Doto cf. bella from New Zealand by Ian Skipworth. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Doto sp. 10

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    From: Ian Skipworth, May 15, 2006
  2. Re: Doto cf. bella from New Zealand
    From: Ian Skipworth, September 6, 2005

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