Considered endemic to New Zealand
Aquarium Point, Portobello, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand. 16 August 1962, Photo: M.C.Miller
Note added 12 January 2010: I have posted a message today showing a specimen of Paradoris from New Zealand with the characteristic brown marks of P. dubia which suggests Dayrat's synonymy of P. leuca with P. dubia is correct. See message #23082
This main external feature distinguishing this species from other related dorids is its white colour and dark brown rhinophores.
In a recent revision of the genus Paradoris it is suggested that P. leuca is a synonym of the southern Australian species, Paradoris dubia (Bergh, 1904) [Dayrat, 2006)]. However, as Benoit Dayrat notes in his revision, we know so little about the colour of most species of this genus that, synonymising these species at present would seem a bit premature. The only colour photos I have seen of the New Zealand animals are those now on the Forum and they lack the colour patterning found in Australian P. dubia. It would seem appropriate at this stage to wait and see if specimens with the Australian colour pattern are found in New Zealand.
Dayrat, B. (2006) A taxonomic revision of Paradoris sea slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia, Doridina). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 147 (2): 125-238.
Miller, M. C. (1995) New species of the dorid nudibranch genus Paradoris Bergh, 1884 (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia). Journal of Natural History 29: 901-908.
Rudman, W.B., 2006 (November 10) Paradoris leuca Miller 1995. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/paraleuc