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Chromodorididae Family

Family Chromodorididae

The Chromodorididae are a very large family of dorid nudibranchs, in fact the largest family of all the sea slugs. They range in size from very small to very large (150 mm) The body is usually smooth with a thin skin, elongate-ovate in shape with the mantle usually overlapping the foot except for the rear of the foot (the tail). Having said that, there is a graduation through several genera where the mantle skirt becomes progressively reduced and the body wall correspondingly thickens up considerably in lieu (e.g. ChromodorisHypselodorisCeratosoma). Some do have ridges and papillae upon the dorsum. The mantle most often contains special glands around the margin which store, as a defensive mechanism, toxic anti-feedant chemicals obtained from their sponge prey. All members of the family feed upon sponges. The rhinophores are able to retract into pockets and possess lamellate clubs. The gills also are able to retract into a pocket and are usually simple (unbranched) or occasionally complex (bipinnate or tripinnate). Many of the chromodoridids are elaborately patterned and brightly coloured on the mantle and these colours can be repeated on the upper surface of the foot.

Species in this Family (sighted)