Triopha maculata
MacFarland, 1905

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Polyceridae
Subfamily: Triophinae


West coast of North America from Canada (Vancouver) to Baja California, Mexico.


Upper: on a sandy bottom near the Monterey Breakwater, California, USA, Depth approx 10m. Approx 15 cm long. Photo: Clinton Bauder.
Lower: Cabrillo Beach boat launch, San Pedro, Surface water, less than one meter, California, USA, Pacific Ocean, 28 May 2006, Next to a boat dock on kelp leaves. Length: 15 cm. Photographer: Jim Lyle.

Ranges in background colour from a translucent pale yellow, through orange and red, to dark brown. The body is covered with raised white to bluish spots. The head veil has 10 to 12 branched processes along the edge, and like the rhinophore clubs these are usually a darker version of the background colour. Although they can grow to 18 cm in length, 2-5 cm is a more usual length.

  • Behrens, D., 1991 Pacific Coast Nudibranchs.
  • MacFarland, F.M. (1905) A preliminary account of the Dorididae from Monterey Bay, California. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 18: 35-54.
  • MacFarland, F. M. 1966. Studies of opisthobranchiate mollusks of the Pacific coast of North America. Memoirs of the California
    Academy of Sciences, 6
    : 1-546, pls. 1-72.
Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (October 24) Triopha maculata MacFarland, 1905. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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