Goniobranchus fidelis (Kelaart, 1858)

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This species has been observed on Reunion, Mauritius, Mayotte, Madagascar and Seychelles Islands

Order : Nudibranchia
Suborder : Euctenidiacea
Superfamily : Doridoidea
Family : Chromodorididae
Distribution : Tropical Indo-West Pacific.
Maximal size : 25 mm
Abundance : Seldom if ever....

Species characteristics :

The mantle is creamy white with a broad orange band around the mantle edge.

On the inner edge of the orange band there is usually a series of tongue-like patches running into the white region or/and a thin wine red line between the white and the orange.

Other characteristics are the black rhinophores (clavus) and gills and the white foot.


chromodoris fidelis
Showing species characteristics...

Photo Fabrice Schubert
Mayotte, Bandrele, 5 m, 22 January 2010, size : 10 mm

See more about : Sightening and mating periods

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Nathalie Yonow
    Synonymous (according worms) :
          - Chromodoris fidelis, (Kelaart, 1858)
          - Chromodoris flammulata, Bergh, 1905
          - Chromodoris krishna, Rudman, 1973
          - Chromodoris lactea, Bergh, 1905
          - Doris fidelis, Kelaart, 1858
          - Glossodoris fidelis, (Kelaart, 1858)

Bibliographic data :

Usually there are three sometimes four tongue shape red marks, on each side between the rhinophores and the gills and with another three around the anterior end and three more posteriorly. These marks usually deepen in color around the edge.
    Usually there is a thin white opaque line along the inside edge of the coloured border.
    There are often smaller red or black flecks near the margin
    Some common variations exist (Rudman, 1985) and some of them seem present throughout the Indo-West Pacific.. So if you find an other form in our area, please Contact us ...
    The lamellated rhinophores have black clavi
    The five to eight small simple gills form a complete circle around the anus
    It is reported by Johnson and Boucher (1983) to feed on the purple sponge Aplysilla (=Chelonaplysilla) violacea Lendenfield, 1883, in the Marshall Islands, but it seems that they eat other sponges.
    Usually found under dead coral rocks.
    According to Boucher (1983), the ova (125-140 m diameter) occur individually within capsules (140-240 m). Extra capsular yolk is scattered between the capsules throughout the egg string

References :

Bill Rudman Seaslug site : Sea Slug Forum : Chromodoris fidelis
   Nudipixel Chromodoris fidelis

Publications :

Boucher, L.M. 1983. Extra-capsular yolk bodies in the egg masses of some tropical Opistobranchia. Journal of Molluscan Studies 49: 232-241
    J ohnson 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.
    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. & Darvell, B.W. (1990) Opisthobranch molluscs of Hong Kong. Part 1. Goniodorididae, Onchidorididae, Triophidae, Gymnodorididae, Chromodorididae, (Nudibranchia). Asian Marine Biology, 7 : 31-79

Other photos of Goniobranchus fidelis :

Fabrice Schubert

Mayotte, Sakouli, 24 January 2010, size : 20 mm

There are four tongue shape red marks , on each side between the rhinophores and the gills and with another three around the anterior end and three more posteriorly.

In this specimen, the rhinophore and gills are grey and not black....



Philibert Bidgrain

Mayotte, Mtsanga Sakouli, less 1 m, 1 June 2013, size : 8-10 mm

In this specimen the marginal orange band and the dark red tongue-like patches and well separated.







a long time ago...

With black rhinophores and gills


 More photos from Indian Ocean

Mauritius, Goniobranchus fidelis, at Mahebourg, by Yann von Arnim

Madagascar, Goniobranchus fidelis, at Antongil, by Olivier Fournajoux

Seychelles, Goniobranchus fidelis, at Mahé, by Christophe Mason-Parker