Dendrodoris coronata Kay & Young, 1969

Dendrodoris coronata has been found at Kwajalein and Enewetak Atolls in a variety of locations, including lagoon interisland reefs, pinnacle reefs, and the seaward slope. Most were under dead coral during the day, but some have been found in ledges or exposed at night. Depths ranged from about 1.5 to 10 meters, and 10 measured specimens ranged from 8 to 40mm in length. The 40mm specimen deposited eight egg masses in a sea table after it was collected for observation. An egg mass from a 12mm specimen was loaded with yellow ova measuring 50 to 60 µm in diameter, individually within capsules of about 77 µm. There were about 165 ova per mm squared and about 39,600 in the entire egg mass.

The photos below show color variation in this species.

The specimen immediately below was found on a Kwajalein Atoll lagoon reef under a rock on 4 July 2009.

Below is a specimen found with its egg mass under a rock on a Kwajalein Atoll lagoon reef at a depth of 7m on 19 July 2009.

We have seen quite a few of these recently (i.e., fall 2009) mostly under small rather drab rocks with little growth on a Kwajalein Atoll lagoon reef in 3 to 6m.

Below is a tiny juvenile with a worm crossing right in front of it..

These five individuals were found huddled together under a rock on a shallow Kwajalein lagoon reef on 5 September 2011.

The one below had a pink tinge internally.

This pair of especially dark individuals was found exposed at night on a Kwajalein Atoll lagoon pinnacle on 5 March 2016. These are by far the darkest specimens we have seen of this species, and it is curious that two such similar individuals, as rare as this color phase is, would find each other to pair up.

I suspect that Doridopsis punctata, described and figured by Alder and Hancock in 1864 (below), is likely this same species.

Created 25 December 2006
Updated 18 March 2016

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