Dendrodoris sp. e642

For a long time we included these animals in with Dendrodoris tuberculosa. They were found in lagoon Halimeda patches, the same area that we had seen many D. tuberculosa. However, these shared a few characteristics that differed somewhat from the standard D. tuberculosa. Foremost among these is the almost caulflower-like nature of the dorsal tubercles, the larger ones with their bumpy tops like clusters of small balls rising from a narrower base. Specimens with this kind of dorsal compound tubercles also have them spotted with red and green, both colors on the same individual. The margins also seem a bit thinner and more undulating than our standard D. tuberculosa. The underside bears spots similar to D. tuberculosa, but in the few specimens we have looked at, the spots seem more sparse. We have seen three specimens so far and they vary from red to green. The first was observed on 25 May 2008 in a lagoon Halimeda patch at about 8m depth. This animal is shown in the first few photos.

A closeup shows how the larger dorsal pustules form cauliflower-like clump, quite distinct from typical D. tuberculosa.

Just a couple of weeks later, we found two more individuals, one green and one red, close together in the same Halimeda patch. The red one this time had a regenerating rhinophore.

One more specimen was found crawling on sand in a Kwajalein lagoon Halimeda patch on 6 May 2012.

Our thanks to Cory Pittman for the suggestion that these might not belong with D. tuberculosa.

Created 11 January 2012
Updated 17 May 2012

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