African Chromodoris – Facts and Photographs

African Chromodoris Chromodoris africana, four-coloured nudibranch, species of colourful sea slug a dorid nudibranch

The African Chromodoris Chromodoris Africana also known as the  four-coloured nudibranch is a species of colourful sea slug. They are dorid nudibranchs, marine gastropod mollusks.

APPEARANCE

African Chromodoris have an elongated oval shape and smooth skin.  The upper body is black with two white lines running longitudinally. Their body is edged by a white line with orange edges. The rhinophores and gills are orange but can be slightly yellow in some specimens. They grow up to 70 mm in length.

African Chromodoris Chromodoris africana, four-coloured nudibranch, species of colourful sea slug a dorid nudibranch

IN THE WILD

The African Chromodoris are one of the more common nudibranchs seen on the East African coast. Being brightly colored they are easy to spot. Usually they are seen singly and sometimes in pairs. They have  the ability to secrete toxic substances which provides protection against predators. Being fairly slow moving they are easy to observe while diving.

HABITAT

The African Chromodoris is found from the Red Sea down the coast of East Africa to southern Kwa-Zulu Natal. They are found on rocky and coral reefs to a depth of 30 meters.

African Chromodoris Chromodoris africana, four-coloured nudibranch, species of colourful sea slug a dorid nudibranch

DIET

The African Chromodoris feed on sponges.

REPRODUCTION

They are simultaneous hermaphrodites and mating takes place by darting. The individual who darts the other first becomes the dominant male and the other the female. Eggs are laid on a solid substrate and when they hatch the larvae become planktonic before growing into adults.

IMAGES

African Chromodoris Chromodoris africana, four-coloured nudibranch, species of colourful sea slug a dorid nudibranch

AFRICAN CHROMODORIS CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Nudipleura
clade Nudibranchia
Superfamily: Doridoidea
Family: Chromodorididae
Genus: Chromodoris
Species:Chromodoris africana

LITERATURE CITED

EQUIPMENT USED

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