Risbecia godeffroyana
(Bergh, 1877)

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Chromodorididae


Tropical western Pacific.


Solitary Islands, New South Wales, Australia. April 1987. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

Risbecia godeffroyana was originally described from Tahiti, and more recently reported (Rudman, 1987), from tropical Eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea. The background colour is creamy white. There is a dark purplish blue border with fingers of the extending into the central part of the mantle. Inside the purple border is a creamy white band with small yellow spots. The central part of the mantle usually has a pinkish tinge and many yellow spots, often smaller than those on the cream background. Sometimes these spots are take on the pinkish colour of the background.

Risbecia godeffroyana is very similar in colour to the Hawaiian R. imperialis and it feeds on a blue-grey sponge, very similar to Dysidea fragilis, the preferred food of R. imperialis in Hawaii (Bertsch & Johnson, 1981). The East African R. pulchella is clearly closely related, the main external difference being the purple border to the foot in that species, and the smudged pale purple reticulate pattern on the dorsum.

• Rudman, W.B. (1987). The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: Chromodoris epicuria, C. aureopurpurea, C. annulata, C. coi and Risbecia tryoni colour groups. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 90: 305-407.

Note added 9 Jan 2001: R. imperialis and R. godeffroyana have previously been considered on the Forum to be colour forms of one species with all records being placed on the R. imperialis page. They are now separated as two species. See accompanying message.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2001 (January 9) Risbecia godeffroyana (Bergh, 1877). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/risbgode

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