Glossodoris hikuerensis (Pruvot-Fol, 1954)
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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 : Indo-West Pacific.
Maximal size : 100 mm
Abundance : From time to time on the fore reef zone

Species characteristics :

There are three bands : an outer thin pale brown band, then a whitish band and an inner dark almost black band.

   The gills form a double spiral in this species

   The mantle is pinkish brown with dense white speckling.

glossodoris hikuerensis
Showing species characteristics...
Photo Florence Trentin
Reunion, Saint Leu, 15-20 m, 12 August 2004

See more about : Sightening and mating periods
   See more about : Glossodoris hikuerensis variability in Southwest Indian ocean

Remarks :

Identification confirmed by Bill Rudman
    Synonymous : (according Worms)
          - Rosodoris hikuerensis, Pruvot-Fol, 1954

Bibliographic data :

Originally described from the Tuamotu Archipelago, central Pacific, it has a wide distribution from East Africa to Fidji and Queensland. This species is similar in colour and shape to Glosssodoris cf cincta, but the three bands of the mantle border are wider and different in colours.
    According to Bill Rudman, species which have this double spiral gills tend to be the larger species, with quite thick body walls. He hypothesized that the body wall is too thick to allow gas exchange to occur through the skin so the animals have compensated by developing a double spiral of gills which greatly increases the area of tissue engaged in gas exchange.

References :

Bill Rudman Sea slug site : Sea Slug Forum : Glossodoris hikuerensis

Publications :

Rudman, W.B. (1986) The Chromodorididae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca) of the Indo-West Pacific: the genus Glossodoris Ehrenbergh (= Casella , H.& A. Adams). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 86 : 101-184.

Other photos of Glossodoris hikuerensis :

Hugues Flodrops

Reunion, Etang salé, "Les brisants" in a cave, 2m, 12 December 2008 by night, size ; 35-40 mm

A white egg mass fot this species. Observation confirm by Lawrence Neal's photo (seaslug forum)


Eva Fontaine

Reunion, Pain de sucre, Saint Gilles, 10-15 m, 18 March 2009, size : 70-80 mm

The genital aperture on the right side of the body....

glossodoris hikuerensis M.Jay

glossodoris hikuerensis



David Caron

Reunion, "Cap la Houssaye " at Saint paul

The gills form a double spiral in this species


Emmanuel Eby

Reunion, Saint Leu, 10 April 2004


glossodoris hikuerensis E.Eby

glossodoris hikuerensis P.Bidgrain

Philibert Bidgrain


Reunion, Diving site "Les brisants" at Etang salé les bains, 3 m , 30 jJanuary 2005, size : 80-90 mm



Note the importance of gills developpement in this larger sea slug.



glossodoris hikuerensis P Bidgrain

Armand Daydé

Reunion, "passe d'étang salé", 3m, 16 January 2009, size : 80 mm

A strange color form, which looks like G. cf cincta but without the blue margin

Eva Fontaine

chissioua sada, Mayotte, on the reef crest, 16 October 2008, size : 70 mm.

Three specimens on the same hole on the reef crest, during a low tide

A strange color form, which looks like G. cf cincta but without the blue margin

   More photos from Indian Ocean

See more about : Glossodoris hikuerensis variability in Southwest Indian ocean

Réunion, Glossodoris hikuerensis, at Sainte Rose, by Nicolas Noël.

Mauritius, Glossodoris hikuerensis, at Mahebourg, by Patrick Millar

Mayotte, Glossodoris hikuerensis, at Papani, by Norbert Verneau 

Reunion, a pale Glossodoris hikuerensis, at Saint Gilles, by Philibert Bidgrain  

Reunion, when a large G. hikuerensis meat a small G cf cincta, at Sainte Rose, by Thierry Cailleux

Seychelles, Glossodoris hikuerensis, at Mahé, by Christophe Mason-Parker

Madagascar, two Glossodoris hikuerensis, at Nosy Bé, by Alain-Benoît Rassat