Acanthodoris nanaimoensis O'Donoghue, 1921

Common name(s):  Wine-plumed spiny doris, Wine-plume dorid, Nanaimo dorid, Red gilled dorid, Rufous-tipped nudibranch

Synonyms: Acanthodoris columbina Acanthodoris nanaimoensis
Class Gastropoda
Subclass Opisthobranchia
Family Onchidorididae
Acanthodoris nanaimoensis found at about -2.5 tide level on Sares Head at night.  Length is about 3 cm.
(Photo by: Dave Cowles, October 2007)
Description:   This dorid nudibranch has a whitish or off-white color (a dark phase may be brown or brownish-gray).  Its dorsum is covered with yellow-tipped papillae.  Its rhinophores and gills (usually 7-9 bipinnate gills) are tipped with brown, rust, or maroon color.  It has white specks on the rhinophore stalks, which are most visible on darker individuals.  Length to 3 cm.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Acanthodoris hudsoni has yellow on the tips of the rhinophores and gills, has a yellow band around its margin, and usually has 5 gills.

Geographical Range:  Baranof Island, Alaska to Santa Barbara, CA; less common in southern portion of range.

Depth Range:  Low intertidal to 10 m


Biology/Natural History:  This species is said to feed on compound ascidians and on bryozoans such as Alcyonidium spp.  It lays its egs in whorled ribbons of capsules which stand on edge on the rocks they are laid on.  The eggs are white to cream colored.

Kozloff's key states that there is no yellow band around the margin of this distinctive species.  This individual seems to have at least a partial yellow band around the margin so it may be another color phase of this variable species or it could possibly be a hybrid with a related species such as A. hudsoni, which does have such a band.



Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff 1987, 1996
  Smith and Carlton, 1975

General References:
  Behrens, 1991
  Harbo, 1999
  Sept, 1999
  McDonald and Nybakken, 1980
  Morris et al., 1980
  O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998

Scientific Articles:

Web sites:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

Dorsum closeup
This closer view of the dorsum shows the yellow-tipped papillae which cover the dorsum, and shows the red-tipped gills around the anus.

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2007):  Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)