Select Page

Ardeadoris pullata

Species Profile

Click Magnifier icon to see images in full res
and captions where available

Ardeadoris pullata

Author: (Rudman, 1995)

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Chromodorididae

Maximum Size: 50 mm

Sightings: Sunshine Coast


Ardeadoris pullata (Rudman, 1995)

This is a rarely sighted species even in its type locality of New Caledonia.

Ardeadoris pullata is medium sized to 50 mm. The mantle overhangs the foot and the edge is thrown into many sinuous folds. The mantle background colour is white, the majority being covered with a brown reticulation that allows the white to show through as small spots, some of which are raised. The thick mantle margin carries a dark band originally described as black but dark blue is a known variation. There is a submarginal band of opaque white, but where the dark edge meets that white band it changes into a diffuse brown. The brown over white reticulation extends to the sides of the body and the dorsal surface of the foot and tail, the edges of both carrying the same arrangement of coloured bands as the mantle margin, but those edges are not sinuous or thick in appearance.

The rhinophore and gill pockets are rimmed in black. The rhinophore stalks are opaque white with the clubs being black with white tips. The gills are arranged in a horse-shoe shape around the anal papilla, open posteriorly but with each end of the horse-shoe shape ending in a recurved spiral. The gills are translucent white with some opaque white mottling, the edges being dark lined.

Ardeadoris pullata can be mistaken for Glossodoris hikuerensis but that species lacks the black rim to rhinophore and gill pockets, lacks the white tip to the rhinophores but possesses a white line up both the anterior and posterior face and the clubs are brown, speckled in white rather than black. The mantle and foot margins of Glossodoris hikuerensis are also different having an outer pale brown band followed by a white than an innermost dark band and the folds are not as “puffy” in appearance.

Ardeadoris pullata is a spongivore but the type of sponge has not been recorded.

Being rarely sighted, distribution records are scanty. Most sightings have been in the type locality of New Caledonia but at least two sighting have been recorded from the Sunshine Coast of southern Queensland.

This species was originally described as Glossodoris pullata. It was relocated into Ardeadoris by Johnson & Gosliner, 2012 as a hypothesized member, not having been subject to molecular sequencing. It is interesting to note however, that Gosliner et al, 2018 have listed this species back under Glossodoris.

Regarding the specific epithet, the author states: “The name ‘pullata’ is Latin for wearing mourning dress, a reference to the black band around the mantle edge.

David Mullins – August 2023

– Rudman, W. B. (1995). The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: further species from New Caledonia and the Noumea romeri colour group. Molluscan Research, 16: 1-43.

– Rudman, W. B., (2005 February 15). Glossodoris pullata Rudman, 1995. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

– Hervé, J-F. (2010) Guide des Nudibranchs de Nouvelle-Calédonie et Autres Opisthobranches. Catherine Ledru, Nouméa, New Caledonia.

– Johnson, R. F. & Gosliner, T. M. (2012) Traditional taxonomic groupings mask evolutionary history: A molecular phylogeny and new classification of the chromodorid nudibranchs. PLoS ONE 7(4)

– Gosliner, T. M., Valde ́s, A ́. & Behrens, D. W. (2018). Nudibranch & Sea Slug Identification – Indo-Pacific, 2nd Edition. New World Publications, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

Other Sea Slugs in this Family (sighted)

Not what you are looking for? Try a search!