Bouchet’s Chromodoris – Nudibranch Facts and Photographs

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

Bouchet’s Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti  is a species of colourful sea slug. They are dorid nudibranchs, marine gastropod molluscs found in the western Indian Ocean.

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

APPEARANCE

Bouchet’s Chromodoris have an elongated oval shape and smooth skin.  The upper body is a light blue colour with longitudinal black  lines. The specimens in Tanzania do not seem as blue as those elsewhere. The edges of the body are sometimes a very light blue bordering on white. The rhinopores are light blue with a black line on them and the tips are yellow/orange. They grow up to 70 mm in length and at full stretch as seen above can be as long as 80mm.

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

BOUCHET’S CHROMODORIS IN THE WILD

Bouchet’s Chromodoris are one of the more common nudibranchs seen on the East African coast. They are usually seen out in the open on the walls of seaward reefs and have been seen to depths of at least 35 meters. Usually they are seen singly but quite often pairs are seen and on some occasions we have seen three in close proximity. They have  the ability to secrete toxic substances which provides protection against predators. Being fairly slow moving they are easy to observe while diving. They tend not to enjoy lights being put on them.

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

HABITAT

Bouchet’s Chromodoris is found from the Red Sea down the coast of East Africa to southern Kwa-Zulu Natal and across to Indonesia including Mayotte where they were originally discovered and the Maldives. They are found on rocky and coral reefs to a depth of at least 35 meters but possibly slightly deeper.

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

DIET

Bouchet’s Chromodoris feed on sponges.

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

REPRODUCTION

They are simultaneous hermaphrodites and mating takes place by connecting the sexual organs which are on the right hand side of the body. Once the two organs hook up sperm is transfered across to each specimen. Eggs are laid on a solid substrate in a ribbon and when they hatch the larvae become planktonic before growing into adults. The egg ribbons contain powerful toxins and are often brightly coloured which deters predators from eating them.

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

IMAGES

Bouchet's Chromodoris Chromodoris boucheti

BOUCHET’S 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 boucheti

LITERATURE CITED

EQUIPMENT USED

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