Chromodoris aspersa (Gould, 1852)

This species is relatively common in the Marshall Islands, but only in very shallow water, usually from the intertidal to depths of about 5 meters, although they are occasionally seen as deep as 15 meters. Like most of the local chromodorids, they usually live under rocks that have a good growth of encrusting organisms such as sponges and bryozoans on the undersurfaces. Specimens we've seen have ranged up to about 17mm long. We have seen this species at Enewetak, Kwajalein, and Utirik Atolls, as well as in Hawaii and the Solomon Islands.

This specimen immediately below is from Utirik Atoll; many of the ones you see here in the Marshalls have paler purple dots and a lighter orange margin.

This is more typical coloration for Marshall Islands Chromodoris aspersa.

Some specimens, however, tend toward yellow or light orange backgrounds.

The specimen below was one of the smaller ones.

This one was a very pale specimen found on a Kwajalein Atoll lagoon reef under a rock in 2m of water on 21 September 2009.

The two in the photo below were observed eating the red sponge they are on.

A very pale individual along with a more typically colored one.

Created 19 December 2005
Updated 8 April 2016

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