Rostanga phepha
Garovoy, Valdés & Gosliner, 2001

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Dorididae


Atlantic coast of Cape Peninsula. It has not been recorded outside South Africa.


Specimen from Llandudno Bay, South Africa. PHOTO: T.M. Gosliner

The living animal has a white notum covered with several dark, purplish brown spots. Juveniles are completely white, with opaque white spots visible around the rim of the mantle. The perfoliate rhinophores are also white. They are composed of 12 horizontal transverse lamellae. The gill is white and consists of eight bipinnate branchial leaves. The body is oval, somewhat elongate, with a smooth mantle rim. The body is densely covered with large caryophyllidia. Each caryophyllidium consists of a spherical, space filling central ciliated tubercle, with some small marginal cilia on the sides of the tubercle. The tubercle is surrounded by approx. six slightly taller, slender spicules. The anal papilla lies within the circlet of the branchial plume. The anterior border of the foot is bilabiate and notched. The foot is wide relative to the mantle margin. The oral tentacles are well formed, slender and digitiform. Preserved specimens to 30 mm.

Rostanga phepha is externally characterised but its distinctive colour pattern which it is not known to share with any other members of the genus. In Gosliner (1987) it is known as Rostanga sp. 2.

See Rostanga phepha - Radula for details.

  • Garovoy, J.B., Valdés, A., & Gosliner, T.M. (2001) Phylogeny of the genus Rostanga (Nudibranchia), with descriptions of three new species from South Africa. Journal of Molluscan Studies 67: 131-144.
  • Gosliner, T. M. (1987) Nudibranchs of Southern Africa, a guide to the Opisthobranchs of southern Africa. Monterey, Sea Challengers.  1-136.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (February 15) Rostanga phepha Garovoy, Valdés & Gosliner, 2001. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from