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Goniobranchus sinensis

Species Profile

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Goniobranchus sinensis

Author: (Rudman, 1985)

Order: Nudibranchia  Family: Chromodorididae

Maximum Size: 20 mm

Sightings: Sunshine Coast; Whitsundays


Goniobranchus sinensis (Rudman, 1985)

In November of 2021 The Team undertook a live-aboard dive trip to the Capricorn Group, Great Barrier Reef. During that trip we recorded a specimen of Goniobranchus preciosus at Tryon Island. Upon return, this find had us thinking that perhaps some specimens we had found previously on the Sunshine Coast, that we had identified as Goniobranchus verrieri, might actually be lookalike species. A review of our data and closer examination of our G. verrieri images uncovered a number of misidentified examples including Goniobranchus sinensis.

Rudman’s 1985 description tells us that in Goniobranchus sinensis the mantle is elongate-oval and broadly overhangs the sides with only a small posterior portion of the foot left exposed when the animal is crawling. The mantle is translucent white and many specimens also exhibit small orange/brown spots. The very margin carries a narrow translucent white border, often difficult to discern, followed by successive bands of red then yellow. There may be a band of white glands just inside the yellow band.

The rhinophore stalks are transparent and often speckled in red. The clubs are red. The gill is translucent white with outer and inner edges being red along with many of the gill lamellae.

Previously known as Chromodoris sinensis it is included in the species listed as having been sequenced and subsequently removed from Chromodoris and placed in Goniobranchus by Johnson & Gosliner, 2012.

Originally described as Chromodoris sinensis.

David A. Mullins – January, 2022

– Rudman, W. B., (1985). The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: Chromodoris aureomarginata, C. verrieri and C. fidelis colour groups. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 83: 241-299.

– Rudman, W. B., (2000, July 4) Chromodoris sinensis Rudman, 1985. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from and associated messages.

– 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)

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