Doto caballa

Doto caballa  Ortea, Moro & Bacallado, 2010

Doto caballa @ Ceuta, Spain 25-04-2010 by Leopoldo Moro Abad

Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Clade: Nudipleura  Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia  Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Dexiarchia  Schrödl, Wägele & Willan, 2001
Infraorder: Cladobranchia Willan and Morton, 1984
Parvorder: [unassigned] Cladobranchia Willan & Morton, 1984
Family: Dotidae  J.E. Gray, 1853
Genus: Doto  Oken, 1815
Species: Doto caballa  Ortea, Moro & Bacallado, 2010

The body is tall and robust, decreasing its profile and narrowing in the posterior third to form a thin and sharp tail from the sixth pair of ceratas, which are very little developed. The color of the body is translucent white, completely covered with small black spots, including the spaces between the ceratas. The cream-colored internal organs are visible by transparency throughout the body, except the tail. The head has a convex profile and it is cornered by two wide oral lobes that follow the curvature of the head. The rhinophores are translucent white with a slight yellowish hue, and covered with opaque white spots along the stem. The rhinophoric sheaths have a very wide quadrangular opening, with the front edge exposed and dotted with white; their outer walls are dotted with black spots like the rest of the body, and their height is half the length of the rhinophores. It has up to six pairs of ceratas, proportionally large and easily autotomizable; The first four pairs are very large compared to the others. Each cerata is transparent so the granular textured and cream-colored digestive gland can be seen by transparency; it can have up to 5-6 transverse rows of tubercles, with a maximum number of 12 tubercles in the middle row of the greater cerata. Each tubecle has a globose shape with a narrow base, with a small bluish-black sphere inside. On the inner side of the larger ceratas there could be a branched pseudobranch. The anal papilla is white and is located between the first and second cerata on the right side of the body.

It feeds on hydrarians, although these are not identified in the description of the species. The spawn has not been described either. Its look reminds that of Doto millbayana, and they can be confused since they are both found in the same location at Sagres (Portugal), but they are easily differentiated because D. millbayana has black dots and spots on the tubercles of the ceratas, in addition to the dark central sphere, missing in D. caballa. In addition, the abrupt narrowing of the posterior part of the body, the quadrangular edge of the rhinophoric sheaths and the coloration of the digestive gland in the ceratas of D. caballa are characteristic traits.


  • Doto. Name of a Nereid, a sea nymph in Greek mythology.
  • Caballa. Referring to the popular adjective of the people from Ceuta, caballa, name that comes to show the attachment of the people to their land, traditions and idiosyncrasies; a very unique and beautiful autonomous city, melting pot cradling two oceans and two continents.

This species has been found in the waters of Ceuta (Spain) and off the coast of Sagres (Portugal). To date it has not been reported anywhere else.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Doto caballa
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions

References for the species: Doto caballa


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:

More pictures

    We have no (more) pictures for Doto caballa


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2012-2018) "Doto caballa" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 17/05/2012, Accessed: 16/12/2018 at (

In order to copy this cite or text fragments you must be a registered user.