Diaulula lentiginosa (Millen, 1982)

Common name(s): Giant freckled dorid

Synonyms:  Anisodoris lentiginosa, Peltodoris lentiginosa
Phylum Mollusca
 Class Gastropoda
  Subclass Opisthobranchia
   Order Nudibranchia
    Suborder Doridacea
    Family Discodorididae
aaaulula lentiginosa collected from about 20 m depth, Sares Head
Dave Cowles, July 2006
Description:  The dorsum of this large dorid is covered with tubercles which contain spicules, giving the dorsum a gritty texture.  Color from nearly translucent white to pale yellow, with numerous irregularly spaced brown blotches.  The blotches vary in shade among different blotches and within the same blotch.  The rhinophores are perfoliate, with white stalks and yellow-tan clavus.  The six lacy gills are off-white with white tips.  Length to 18 cm.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:  The large size and numerous large blotches make this dorid distinctive.

Geographical Range:  Kodiak Island, Alaska to Capa Arago, Oregon

Depth Range: Intertidal (mostly subtidal) to 33 m depth


Biology/Natural History:  Feeds on yellow encrusting sponges.  Recent evidence (Chu and Leys 2012) also shows that this nudibranch feeds on deep-living glass sponges such as Aphrocallistes vastus and Heterochone calyx, as well as the demosponge Desmacella austini that encrusts them.  These are all found in deep sponge reefs (>200 m depth) off the west coast of Canada.  This is the first documented instance of animals feeding on glass sponges outside of Antarctic waters.

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Dichotomous Keys:
  (not in Kozloff)

General References:
  Behrens, 1991 (As Anisodoris lentiginosa)

Scientific Articles:
Chu, Jackson W.F. and Sally P. Leys, 2012.  The dorid nudibranchs Peltodoris lentiginosa and Archidoris odhneri as predators of glass sponges.  Invertebrate Biology 131:2 pp. 75-81

Dayrat, Benoit and Terrence M. Gosliner, 2005.  Species names and metaphyly: a case study in Discodorididae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Euthyneura, Nudibranchia, Doridina).  Zoologica Scripta
34: p 199

Web sites:

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

This large dorid is frequently found in rocky subtidal areas around Rosario

The 6 off-white, lacelike gills are in a circle around the anus

The rhinophore is perfoliate and retractable into a sheath.  The dorsum is covered with tubercles.

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2006):  Created original page