Dermatobranchus pulcherrimus
Miller & Willan, 1986

Suborder: ARMININA
Family: Arminidae


Known from NE New Zealand and southern Australia [Victoria, Tasmania].


Paratype. Whangarei Harbour, northern New Zealand, on a sand bank at extreme low
tide. 29 mm extended crawling length. 17 May 1980. Photo: Richard Willan.

It is easily distinguishable by its reddish colour, described by Miller & Willan as 'burnt sienna'. In the original description. the longitudinal ridges and the edges of the foot, oral veil and mantle are described as opaque white. The oral veil is relatively large and its anterior corners are extended as short pointed tentacles. The foot is very broad for the genus, and the enlarged leading edge is developed into a large semicircular structure with tentacular foot corners. Most species of Dermatobranchus are found on hard substrates and the foot is about the same width as the mantle. It is possible that the very wide foot found in D. pulcherrimus is an adaptation to living in soft bottom habitats [see page on adaptations to living on sand & mud]. It grows to about 30mm in length.

• Miller, M.C. & Willan, R.C. (1986) A review of the New Zealand arminacean nudibranchs (Opisthobranchia: Arminacea). New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 13: 377-408.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (October 30) Dermatobranchus pulcherrimus Miller & Willan, 1986. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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