Chromodoris aureomarginata
Cheeseman, 1881

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Chromodorididae


Throughout New Zealand, from intertidal to 20 metres. Not common.


Bradshaw Sound, Fiordland, 15m. 25mm long, 11 May 2005. Photo: Ian Skipworth

The mantle and body are translucent white with a thin bright yellow submarginal band and opaque white marginal band around the mantle. The inner edge of the line is distinct but on the outer side it is more diffuse, merging into the opaque white edge. The opaque white edge is formed from the mantle glands which form a continuous band around the edge of the mantle. The gills, rhinophores are also translucent white. C. aureomarginata is a relatively elongate species and when crawling the foot extends some distance posteriorly beyond the mantle. There are up to eleven simple gills arranged in a circle, open posteriorly, around the anus. The radula is fairly typical for the genus [Radula formula 83.0.83 x 71 (+3) (20mm specimen)], and it one of the species which retains a reduced triangular thickening in the midline.

Originally described by Cheeseman (1881) from the Auckland district, there are records of this species as far south as Stewart Island, but it never common. There are many white species of chromodorid with yellow colouration which I have called the 'C. aureomarginata colour-group'[Rudman, 1985, 1990]. The only similarly coloured species known from New Zealand is Cadlina willani, which differs in having the yellow band at the edge of the mantle, and a yellow median line of the mantle.

Many books on the NZ fauna incorrectly refer to this species as Glossodoris aureomarginata. Odhner (1934) based a new genus and species, Lissodoris mollis, on what I consider to be juveniles of C. aureomarginata [see Rudman, [1984, 1985].

• Cheeseman, T.F., 1881. On some new species of nudibranchiate Mollusca. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, 13: 222-224.
• Eliot, C.N.E., 1907. Nudibranchs from New Zealand and the Falkland Islands. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London, 7(6): 327-361, Pl.28.
• Morton, J.E.& Miller, M.C., 1968. The New Zealand Sea Shore. Collins, London & Auckland. 638 pages.
• Odhner, N.H. (1924) Papers from Dr. Th. Mortensen's Pacific expedition 1914-16. New Zealand Mollusca. Videnskabelige Meddeleser fra Danske Naturhistorisk Forening, 77: 1-90. (Pls.1-2)
• Powell, A.W.B., 1979. New Zealand Mollusca. Auckland: Collins.
• Rudman, W. B., 1984. The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: A review of the genera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 81: 115-273.
•Rudman, W.B., 1985. The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: Chromodoris aureomarginata, C. verrieri and C. fidelis colour groups. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 83: 241-299.
• Rudman, W.B. (1990) The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: further species of Glossodoris, Thorunna and the Chromodoris aureomarginata colour group. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 100(3): 263-326.
• Suter, H., 1913. Manual of the New Zealand Mollusca. Wellington: Government Printer.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2004 (June 21) Chromodoris aureomarginata Cheeseman, 1881. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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