Description: Dendronotid nudibranchs have the anus is on the right side of the body and the dorsum has cerata or gills. If cerata, they are usually in 2 dorsolateral longitudinal rows. The clavus of the rhinophores can be fully or at least partly retracted into a sheath. Dendronotus dalli has an elongated, sluglike body with two longitudinal rows of 6-7 pairs of very bushy, fanlike cerata along the dorsum without accessory cerata between them (photo). It has no oral hood but prominant, bushy, perfoliate rhinophores with branched papillae on the sheath that give them a crownlike shape (photo). The rhinophore stalks have no outgrowths on their posterior border. The oral veil is not large, only slightly overhangs the mouth, and has 4-5 pairs of short, moderately branched papillae. The lips usually have 30 or more simple, fingerlike papillae. There is no red or opaque white line around the foot nor 4 parallel reddish brown longitudinal lines. The body is translucent white to pink with opaque white on the distal third of the cerata and rhinophores. Length to 14 cm, but usually 4-8 cm.
How to Distinguish from Similar Species:Dendronotus rufa has a red line around the foot. Dendronotus iris has posterior outgrowths on the rhinophore stalk. D. albus,D. diversicolor, and D. frondosus are colored differently and have less extensively branched cerata.
Geographical Range: Northeast Pacific (Bering Sea to Puget Sound) and off New England (as the former D. elegans)
Habitat: Often found on rocks, hydroids, or stalked bryozoans.
History: This species
feeds on Abietenaria
hydroids, as seen in the photo above.
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
Authors and Editors
Salish Sea Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla