Caribbean - West Atlantic from Brazil to Florida.
6mm specimen from floating Sargassum between Fish Cays and Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas, on June 29, 1995. Photo: Colin Redfern.
Doto pita Marcus, 1955 was first described from Brazil and has since been recorded in the tropical west Atlantic from the Caribbean and as far north as Florida. The main colour points noted by Marcus were scattered brown spots on the dorsum and white spots at the apices of the nodules on the cerata. Baba (1971) identified a similar looking animal from Japan as this species [see Doto cf. pita], but no detailed comparison of their anatomy has been undertaken. If the identification is correct then the occurrence of a species in both the west Atlantic and NW Pacific is almost certainly a result of human disturbance.
• Baba, K. (1971) Anatomical studies on three species of Doto (D. bella, D. japonica, and D. pita) from Japan (Nudibranchia: Dendronotoidea: Dotoidae. Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, 19(2/3): 73-79, Pls 4, 5.
• Edmunds, M. & Just, H. (1985) Dorid, Dendronotid and Arminid nudibranchiate mollusca from Barbados. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 51: 52-63
• Marcus, Er. (1957) On Opisthobranchia from Brazil (2). Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology, 43: 390-486.
• Marcus, Ev. & Marcus, Er. (1963) Opisthobranchs from the Lesser Antilles. Studies on the Fauna of Curacao and other Caribbean Islands, 19(79): 1-76.
• Marcus, Er. (1955) Opisthobranchia from Brazil. Boletim da Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciencias e Letras. Universidade de Sao Paulo, Zoologia, 20: 89-261. (Pls. 1-30)
• Ortea,J., Moro,L., Espinosa,J. & J.J.Bacallado (1999). Doto pita Marcus, 1955 (Nudibranchia: Dendronotoidea), un nuevo Opistobranquio anfiatlantico. Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias, XI(3-4): 75-81.
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (July 1) Doto pita Marcus, 1955. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/dotopita
July 3, 2002
From: Colin Redfern
Following Shouichi Kato's message regarding Doto pita, here is a photo of this species from Abaco, Bahamas. The 6mm specimen was collected by Rodger Bunnell from floating Sargassum between Fish Cays and Treasure Cay, Abaco on June 29, 1995. Although occasionally found on floating Sargassum, D. pita is more commonly found close to shore in the Abaco area, on a species of Sargassum [S. platycarpum?] that is attached to rocks in about 1m.
To add to your list of references, Ortea et al. (1999) reported that D. pita was amphiatlantic, having recorded the species from Cuba and from the Canary Islands.
• Ortea, J., Moro, L., Espinosa, J. & J.J. Bacallado (1999). Doto pita Marcus, 1955 (Nudibranchia: Dendronotoidea), un nuevo Opistobranquio anfiatlantico. Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias, XI(3-4): 75-81.
firstname.lastname@example.orgRedfern, C., 2002 (Jul 3) Doto pita from the Bahamas. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/7400
When I first saw your photo in your book it didn't seem to fit Marcus' description that well but on reflection, and on rereading the later descriptions, including Edmunds & Just (1985) from Barbados, I think you are probably right. It is unfortunate that many Marcus descriptions, although often detailed anatomically, give little information on the external animal. I think it is unlikely that the Japanese animal is the same species.