A sea slug (Goniodoris nodosa)
|Researched by||Sonia Rowley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandFound throughout the British Isles and Ireland.
HabitatAdults may often be food feeding on ascidians, whereas juveniles may be found on bryozoans.
- An elongate oval body up to 3 cm in length.
- The body is translucent white with a short, wavy, yellow edged mantle.
- An opaque longitudinal ridge runs down the back to the tip of the foot.
- The lamellate rhinophores are faintly yellow with opaque, white spots.
- The smooth oral tentacles are flattened and protrude latterally.
- Up to 13 fat, fleshy gills around the anal papilla.
Additional informationThe breeding season in Goniodoris nodosa occurs mainly between January-June, but has been noted in September and December (MBA, 1957). Large numbers of spawning adults have been observed in Plymouth Sound from February-May with a marked abundance of smaller individuals from June-August, suggesting an annual spawning event by this species to the shores (MBA, 1957). Goniodoris nodosa is very similar to Goniodoris castanea. However, Goniodoris castanea is a much rarer species, with a conspicuous reddish-brown colour and covered in small white flecks.
The juveniles of Goniodoris nodosa feed on encrusting bryozoans, mainly Alcyonidium diaphanum, Callopora dumerilii and Flustrellidra hispida. As adults, Goniodoris nodosa transfer to encrusting ascidans as adults, mainly Botryllus schlosseri, Diplosoma listerianum and Dendrodoa grossularia. However, Bruce (1963) noted that in sheltered localities they could occasionally be found on Fucus serratus and Chondrus crispus.
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Last Updated: 04/09/2007