Description: Dendronotids are Nudibranchs with the anus on the right side of the body and with 4-10 dorsal cerata which are club-shaped, paddlelike or bushy; sometimes no cerata but numerous gills. Either way, they are arranged in 2 dorsolateral rows. The clavus of the rhinophore can be partly or fully retracted into its sheath. Dendronotus dalli has a sluglike body with 6-7 pairs of bushy cerata in 2 dorsolateral rows and with white on the distal third; large, prominent bushy rhinophores with white tips and a sheath that is drawn out into 4-12 (usually 5) moderately branched papillae in a crownlike shape (the two the rhinophores may have different numbers of papillae). The rhinophore stalk has lateral papillae but no posterior bushy outgrowths. It has an oral veil with 4-5 pairs of short, moderately branched papillae but the veil is not wide and only slightly overhangs the mouth. It has 20 (30) or more small, fingerlike lip papillae. The foot has no red or white line around its margin and the dorsum does not have 4 parallel reddish-brown longitudinal lines. The body is translucent white or pink. Length usually 4-8 cm but may be up to 14 cm.
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Dendronotus iris has bushy outgrowths on the posterior part of the rhinophore stalk. Several other Dendronotus species such as Dendronotus albus have white tips on the cerata, but these also have a dorsomedial white line extending at least from the posterior cerata to the tip of the tail.
Geographical Range: Bering Sea to Puget Sound, WA
Depth Range: Very low intertidal to subtidal.
Habitat: Lives and feeds on stalked bryozoans and hydroids, especially Abietinaria.
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
Authors and Editors
Salish Sea Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla