Description: Dendronotids have the anus is on the right side of the body (photo) 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 frondosus has two dorsolateral rows of bushy cerata (3 to 9 pairs) but has a rounded, sluglike dorsum with no obvious dorsolateral margins. It has no large oral hood. The small oral veil has 4 pairs of simply branched papillae, and there are up to 6 simple papillae on the lips. The rhinophores have a perfoliateclavus and the rhinophoresheath has a series of papillae that make it look like a crown. The rhinophore stalks do not have any posterior bushy outgrowths but they do have one or more small lateral papillae (photo). The 5-7 pairs of cerata are moderately branched. The foot has no white line around the edge of it, and there is no white line along the dorsal midline of the tail (photo). The body color is gray to greenish to dark reddish brown, often with yellow, green, or brown flecks on the body (photo). Maximum length 5 cm, but usually 1.5 to 3 cm.
Geographical Range: Cosmopolitan in North Temperate oceans; from northern Alaska to northern Mexico on our Pacific coast.
Depth Range: Intertidal to 400 m
Habitat: Around hydroids
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
Several of these came through the Rosario Beach Marine Lab
system in 2014. The animal is too large to make it through
screens, and the screens are about 1.5 m off the bottom so it must have
entered the system as a pelagic
larva, then resided in the reservoir tank and grown a bit before being
flushed out into our tanks.
This view of the tail shows that it has no white line along its dorsal midline.
Authors and Editors of
Salish Sea Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla