Dendrodoris tuberculosa (Quoy & Gaimard, 1832)
|Maximum size: 150 mm (Kay,
a broad, moderately firm species with closely spaced clusters
of elaborate tubercles on its notum. The sides of the central tubercle
cluster are usually covered by multiple rings of smaller tubercles. The
height of the secondary tubercles is variable. Its
body ranges from cream to pale rose and
lighter bands radiate from the tubercles to the margin of the
notum. Dark brown patches may be present between the tubercles but they
are usually less extensive than in Dendrodoris carbunculosa.
It may be distinguished from D.
its translucent notum, its more elaborate tubercles and the presence
of prominent white spots on its underside. In photos taken with a
flash, it often appears to have light lines running along the crests
formed by the rings of smaller tubercles. (Note 1).
is a moderately rare species found in moderately protected to
moderately exposed rocky habitats at depths of < 1 to 26 m (< 3 to
85 ft). It lays a cream egg mass with a frilly margin. (Kay &
Young, 1969) Occasionally, it may host the commensal shrimp, Periclimenes imperator. (see photo)
Big Island, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai: widely distributed in the
is referred to as the "tuberculous nudibranch" in Hoover,
2006. It may have been first reported from Hawaii in Kay & Young,
1969 assuming that Doris rugosa
Pease, 1860 is actually a synonym of D.
carbunculosa, contra the suggestion in Kay, 1979. The first
in Bertsch and Johnson, 1981 is actually of D. carbunculosa, instead.
120 mm: Hekili Point, Maui; Nov. 4, 2002.
Observations and comments:
1: Perhaps, the translucent tissue of the
notum acts as a lens, focusing the reflected light of the flash
in such a way that it is concentrated along the crests? The lines are
generally not visible to the eye.