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Chromodoris burni

Species Profile

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Chromodoris burni

Author: Rudman, 1982

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Chromodorididae

Maximum Size: 30 mm

Sightings: Sunshine Coast


Chromodoris burni Rudman, 1982

The body shape is elongate-oval and low in profile, in the Chromodoris manner, with the overhanging mantle, in this instance, lying close against the body sides with the foot extending significantly posterior to the mantle as a tapered tail. The smooth mantle of Chromodoris burni is white but covered in many thin black longitudinal lines. The lateral-most lines run in a complete loop around the outside of the rhinophores and gills. Some of the medial lines intersect. Also, some of the lines, on some specimens, exhibit a slight brownish tinge to their edge. The mantle margin carries an orange band with a broad submarginal band of white adjacent. This band of white next to the marginal orange band assists in differentiating Chromodoris burni from Chromodoris lineolata as that species has a submarginal band of black next to the orange marginal band. The body sides and foot are also white with thin black longitudinal lines. The edge of the foot carries an orange band that darkens posteriorly. The rhinophore stalks are white with orange lamellate clubs. The rhinophore pockets carry an orange rim. The simple gills form a circle around the anus but are somewhat open posteriorly. The gills are white with orange edging and have black lines running up the inside face of each branch. Some specimens present with the distal half of each gill branch as completely orange with the black lines restricted basally.

Chromodoris burni is a spongivore, but the preferred type of sponge has not yet been identified.

The spawn presentation also has not been recorded, but it would be expected to be a planar (flat) spiral of several whorls laid upon the substrate as per other Chromodoris species.

Distribution appears to be limited to the east coast of Queensland, Australia if we ignore the Japanese identifications (see below).

This species is named in honour of Robert (Bob) Burn of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, an internationally respected authority and author on heterobranch molluscs.

– It is possibly the Glossodoris lineolata of Allan, 1947 and the Chromodoris lineolata of Thompson, 1972, remembering that Chromodoris burni wasn’t recognized and described until Rudman in 1982.

– The Glossodoris lineolata of Baba, 1949, the Chromodoris burni of Nagano, 2004 and the Japan specimens illustrated in Debelius & Kuiter, 2007 (lower centre and lower right) are most likely not this species and may instead represent Chromodoris quagga.

David A. Mullins – December 2023

– Baba, K.  (1949). Opisthobranchia of Sagami Bay. Tokyo. Iwanami Shoten.

– Allan, J. (1947). Nudibranchia from the Clarence River Heads, north coast, New South Wales. Records of the Australian Museum, 21: 433- 463.

– Thompson, T. E. (1972). Chromodorid nudibranchs from eastern Australia (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia).

Journal of Zoology, London. 166: 391-409.

– Rudman, W. B. (1982). The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: Chromodoris quadricolor, C. lineolata and Hypselodoris nigrolineata colour groups. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 76: 183-241.

– Marshall, J.G., Willan, R.C. (1999). Nudibranchs of Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef: A survey of the Opisthobranchia (sea slugs) of Heron and Wistari Reefs; Backhuys: Leiden, The Netherlands, 1999.

– Nakano, R. (2004). Opisthobranchs of Japan Islands. Rutles, Inc., Tokyo, Japan.

– Debelius, H & Kuiter, R. H. (2007). Nudibranchs of the World. IKAN.

– Coleman, N. (2008). Nudibranchs Encyclopedia. Neville Coleman’s Underwater Geographic Pty Ltd, Springwood, Qld.

– 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): e33479.

– 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)

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