Heterodoris antipodes
Willan, 1981

Suborder: ARMININA
Family: Arminidae


Known from single specimen trawled from 1800 m off the west coast, South Island New Zealand (Willan, 1981) and a few specimens trawled off the east coast of New South Wales, Australia.


Locality:  Off Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, [ FROM: 33 Deg 40.000  Min S, 151 Deg 56.000  Min E TO:  33 Deg 37.000  Min S,  151 Deg 58.000  Min E ± 10 km, Capture Depth From  497 m To 503 m]. Collector K. J. Graham, 2  October 1996,  NSW Fisheries, FRV Kapala. 0612hrs. Trawled. Upper Slope Survey [Stn number K96-19-01]. AM C458631, 1 spm. [length approx 30 mm]. Photo: Alison Miller - preserved specimen.

First described from a single specimen trawled from 1800 m off the west coast, South Island, New Zealand (Willan, 1981), a few specimens have since been trawled off the east coast of New South Wales, Australia [see message #20052 ].

The animal has a broad heart-shaped mantle, the mantle skirt running from the outer base of each rhinophore down each side of the body to join at a point in the posterior midline. Between the rhinophores the mantle runs down anteriorly to merge wit the oral veil. The lamellate rhinophores are not retractile. There are scattered rounded tubercles over the mantle and a series of quite large tapering papillae. There are no gills.  The anus opens on the right side of the body about two-thirds of the way back, and the genital opening is about one-third of the way down the right side.

Nothing is known of the colour of the living animal but Willand noted brown markings (spots, lines, patches) in the preserved specimen.

Heterodoris Verrill & Emerton is a little-known genus with three deep-water species known from few specimens, H. robusta from the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans,  H. ingolfiana from south of Iceland, and H. antipodes from the Tasman Sea. Bergh considered the genus to be close to the Tritoniidae but Odhner (1926) considered its anatomy linked it to the Arminidae, where it is usually placed today.

  • Odhner, N.H. (1926) Nudibranchs and lamellariids from the Trondhjem Fjord. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabernes Selskabs Skrifter, 1926 N.R. 2. Meddelelse fra Trondhjems Biologiske Statsjon N.R. 24, 1-36. (Pl.1)
  • Verrill, A.A. & Emerton, J.H. (1882) [In] Verrill, A.A., Catalogue of marine mollusca added to the fauna of the New England region during the past 10 years. Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Science, 5 (2): 548-549.
  • Willan, R. C. (1981) A new abyssal arminacean nudibranch from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 8: 325-330.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2007 (June 28) Heterodoris antipodes Willan, 1981. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/heteanti