Dendrodoris carbunculosa (Kelaart, 1858)

If memory serves me right, Dendrodoris carbunculosa is a relatively common large dorid usually found out in the open on shallow to mid-depth subtidal reefs. I cannot be certain since I was not at the time differentiating between this and D. tuberculosa, but I seem to remember that the majority of the specimens I saw looked like this. In the Marshalls, D. carbunculosa is pretty consistent in coloration and appearance, while D. tuberculosa varies considerable in color. One or both of these species apparently secretes chemicals to reduce its edibility. Wiping your eyes after handling one of these causes a painful burning sensation in the eye. This species is very similar to D. tuberculosa and they have often been mixed up. D. tuberculosa can be distinguished by the large spots it has on the underside of its wide mantle margin.

Below a commensal shrimp, Periclimenes imperator, lives on the body of Dendrodoris carbunculosa. These shrimp are more common on species of Hexabranchus.

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Marshall Islands Sea Slugs

Created 20 April 2009
Updated 16 February 2010

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