Notodoris gardineri
Eliot, 1906.

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Aegiretidae


Tropical Indo-West Pacific.


UPPER: Heron Is., Queensland, December 1981.
LOWER: Lagoon Beach, Lord Howe Is, Coral Sea, April 1984.
PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

The background colour is bright yellow but it is patterned with patches of black which vary greatly in size and number. The rhinophores and gills are yellow, but in juveniles the rhinophores can be black. This species is similar to N. minor in having black pigmentation, but in that species the black forms a network of lines over the body. The branched gills are situated midway along the body, partially hidden beneath three large rounded lobes. The body is rigid and toughened with tiny spicules. The rhinophores are smooth and simple. The animal can grow to approximately 10cm in length.

N. gardineri usually feeds on the calcareous sponge Pericharax heterographis (family Leucettidae), although Gosliner et al. (1996) have reported it feeding on another leucettid sponge, Leucetta primigenia. It is found on coral substrates, in depths ranging from intertidal to 20 m (commonest in depths 7-15 m).

See also Notodoris sp. 1 which is probably a juvenile form with black rhinophores.

• Eliot, C.N.E. (1906) Nudibranchiata, with some remarks on the families and genera and description of a new genus, Doridomorpha. In: The fauna and geography of the Maldive and Laccadive Archipelagoes. Vol. 2(1). (Ed: Gardiner,JS) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 540-573. (Pl. 32)
• Gosliner, T.M. Behrens, D.W. & Williams, G.C. (1996). Coral reef animals of the Indo-Pacific. Sea Challengers, Monterey, California. 314 pp.
• Marshall, J.G. & Willan, R.C. (1999). Nudibranchs of Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef. A survey of the Opisthobranchia (Sea Slugs) of Heron and Wistari Reefs. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands, 257 pp.
• Thompson, T.E. (1975). Dorid nudibranchs from eastern Australia (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia). Journal of Zoology, London, 176: 477-517

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2003 (July 11) Notodoris gardineri Eliot, 1906.. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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