Dolabella gigas
(Rang, 1828)

Superfamily: APLYSIOIDEA
Family: Aplysiidae


Indian Ocean


Shell from Australian Museum collection (acquired in late 19th century) Either from Mauritius or Reunion, AM C43526. 72mm longest diameter Photo: Alison Miller.

There is no clear information on how the animal of D. gigas differs externallly from that of D. auricularia. Some reports suggest the body is covered with flattened warts without papillae (while other reports say this species has papillae and D. auricularia does not. The shell, with its saucer-shaped extension is immediately recognisable. Anatomically, the penis is armed with small spines which differs from the unarmed penis of D. auricularia.

See Valda Fraser's message with possible photos of this species.
See Dolabella auricularia page.
See shell of Dolabella auricularia.

• Eales,NB (1946) The anatomy of Dolabella gigas. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 27(3): 109-118.
•Rang, S (1828) Histoire naturelle des Aplysiens, premiere famille de l'ordre des Tectibranches. In: Histoire naturelle Generale et particuliere des Mollusques. (Ed: Ferussac, D.) Firmin Didot, Paris, 84pp. Pls. 1-24.
• Bebbington,A (1974) Aplysiid species from East Africa with notes on the Indian Ocean Aplysiomorpha (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 54: 63-99.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (September 13) Dolabella gigas (Rang, 1828). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Dolabella gigas ? from Reunion Island
    From: Hugues Flodrops, June 13, 2007
  2. Dolabella gigas? from Mayotte
    From: Marina Poddubetskaia & Isabelle Ruffin , January 22, 2004
  3. Dolabella gigas? from South Africa
    From: Valda Fraser, May 21, 2001

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