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Information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

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Bushy-backed sea slug (Dendronotus frondosus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help

Summary

Description

Dendronotus frondosus is a large, up to 10 cm long, laterally compressed sea slug with variable colouring. It can be white or pink with mottled brown, red or yellow pigment. Along the back there are paired, branched processes called cerata that act as gills. In between the cerata there are smaller processes that are also branched. On the front edge of many sea slugs is a flap of tissue called the oral veil, which bears branched processes in Dendronotus frondosus. The antenna-like rhinophores are sheathed in tissue and these sheaths terminate in branched processes. Between the branches at the end of the rhinophore sheaths are the ends of the rhinophores themselves, which resemble ribbed pine cones in texture and shape.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common on all British and Irish coasts.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Adult Dendronotus frondosus are found in the shallow sublittoral on the hydroids Tubularia larynx and Tubularia indivisa. Juveniles can be found on the hydroids Obelia sp., Sertularia sp., Halecium sp., and Hydrallmania falcata

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • White or pale pink mottled with brown, red or yellow pigment.
  • Nine pairs of highly branched cerata on dorsal surface.
  • Oral veil with highly branched processes.
  • Rhinophores are sheathed, terminating in arborescent (tree-like) processes and a lamellate, corkscrew-like appendage.

Additional information

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Listed by

- none -

Bibliography

  1. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. Picton, B. E. & Morrow, C.C., 1994. A Field Guide to the Nudibranchs of the British Isles. London: Immel Publishing Ltd.

  4. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.

  5. Thompson, T. E. & Brown, G. H., 1976. British Opisthobranch Molluscs. London: Academic Press. [Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 8.]

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) data for Great Britain and Ireland - restricted access. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/4bsawx accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) records for Great Britain and Ireland. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/aurwcz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  5. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  6. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  7. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  8. Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, 2017. NBIS Records to December 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jca5lo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2022. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2022-11-27

  10. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Molluscs (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jos5ga accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Neal, K.J. 2007. Dendronotus frondosus Bushy-backed sea slug. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27-11-2022]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2046

Last Updated: 31/05/2007