Known only from Sri Lanka and Gulf of Oman
Upper: On algae in a sandy tidal channel bordered by mangroves, 25cm at low tide, 1.5 - 2cm long. Locality: Khawr Kalba, United Arab Emirates, Gulf of Oman, 16 Feb. 2004. Photo: Henk Dekker
Lower: Painting from Kelaart's collection from Eliot (1906) - Plate XLIII, Fig. 3. Doris elizabethina.
The mantle is translucent with mottled reddish brown pigmentation all over the central region of the mantle. The mantle skirt is relatively narrow and thrown into waves around the edge. This region is translucent clear with scattered large reddish spots of varying size. Right at the edge are large blue patches. The foot is translucent white with reddish spots and a broad red median band down the posterior tip. The rhinophore stalk and basal hallf of the club is reddish brown and the upper half of the club is black with a white tip. The gills are translucent clear with black specks edging the branches.
This species was described from Ceylon (Kelaart, 1859). The original description is transcribed below. Eliot (1906) published a colour painting from Kelaart's collections which is also copied in the accompanying illustrations.
"Body half an inch long. Mantle broad, spotted with purple on the back; margin white, spotted with large light-blue spots. A row of crimson spots between the line of blue spots and the purple-coloured back. Under surface of mantle whitish, with a pink shade. Tentacles purplish brown, white tipped, laminated. Branchiae six, small, bipinnated, of a grizzled grey colour. Foot whitish upper surface crimson. Mouth with a small veil. This elegantly coloured Doris was obtained in deep water near the Pearl Banks of Aripo. I have named it in compliment to one who takes more than an ordinary interest in my zoological pursuits." Kelaart, 1859 p. 267.
See separate discussion on its identity [#12367].
See Dendrodoris caesia, which is possibly a junior synonym.
• Kelaart, E.F. (1859). On some additional species of nudibranchiate mollusks from Ceylon. Annals & Magazine of Natural History, 4: 267-270
• Eliot, C.N.E. (1906) On the nudibranchs of Southern India and Ceylon, with special reference to the drawings by Kelaart and the collections belonging to Alder & Hancock preserved in the Hancock Museum at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, [for 1906] 2: 636-691. (Pls. 42-47). [Plate XLIII. Fig. 3 Doris elizabethina
• Eliot, C.N.E. (1907) On the nudibranchs of Southern India and Ceylon, with special reference to the drawings by Kelaart and the collections belonging to Alder and Hancock, preserved in the Hancock Museum at Newcastle-on-Tyne, No. 2. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London [for 1906]: 999-1008.
Rudman, W.B., 2004 (March 2) Dendrodoris elizabethina (Kelaart, 1859). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/dendeliz
Dendrodoris elizabethina from Gulf of Oman
From: Henk Dekker, March 5, 2004
Rediscovery of Doris elizabethina Kelaart
From: Bill Rudman, March 5, 2004