Doto coronata

Doto coronata (Gmelin, 1791)

Doto coronata by Enric Madrenas

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 coronata (Gmelin, 1791) [Doris]


  • Doris coronata Gmelin, 1791 (original)
  • Doto costae Trinchese, 1881 
  • Doto splendida Trinchese, 1881

This species can reach 10 mm in length and has a semi-transparent body with whitish or cream colored internal organs. Most characteristic trait are the carmine or brown spots scattered on the dorsum of the animal, head, rhinophoric sheath, body sides and cerata. The head has well developed lateral cephalic lobes. The rhinophoric sheath has several carmine or brown spots on the inner face. The rhinophores are smooth, semitransparent and with white grains near the apex. Large size specimens can have up to 7 tuberculated cerata on each side of the body and the largest ones may have 4-5 circles of tubercles on each cerata; these tubercles are rounded low profile bumps with a carmine or dark brown stain on the rounded apex and an elongated and very apparent stain on the inner side of the cerata base. Whitish granulations and other carmine or brown small stains are common on the ceratal tubercles. The rounded apical tubercle is poorly developed. The digestive gland inside the cerata is creamy colored. There are no developed pseudo-gills. The genital orifices may be pigmented red.

D. coronata is a species that is cited living on many types of substrates, both of thecate hydrozoans (Abietinaria abietina, Aglaophenia pen, Nemertesia (= Antenularia) ssp., Rhizocaulus (=Campanula), vercicillatus, Diphasia ssp., Dynamena pumila, Halecium ssp., Hydrallmania falcata, Kirchenpaueria ssp., Lafoea ssp., Laomedea ssp., Obelia ssp., Plumularia ssp., Sertularia ssp., Sertularella polyzonias and Thuis ssp.), athecate hydrozoans (Bougainvillia ramosa, Fact multicornis, Coryne muscoides, Eudendrium ssp., Hydractinia echinata, Tubularia ssp.) and even bryozoans (Alcyonidium). However it is suspected that it has probably been confused with other little known similar species until the publication of Lemche’s work (1976) in which many new Doto species were described, so most probably the spectrum of food sources and substrates is much smaller. Doto coronata could be parasited by ectoparasite copepods like Doridicola agilis and Splanchnotrophus brevipes or endoparasites like Lomanoticola brevipes.


  • Doto, from Latin Doto, a sea nymph, from Greek Dōtō
  • Coronata, from Latin, neuter plural of coronatus, crowned, encircled, enclosed.

This is a very widely distributed species as it is found all over the Atlantic coasts of northern Europe (British Isles, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, French coast), the Iberian Peninsula (Cantabrian coast, Galicia, Portugal, Strait of Gibraltar, Levantine coast and Catalonia) and the Mediterranean (Aegean and Adriatic Seas, coasts of the former Yugoslavia, Gulf of Naples and the French Mediterranean). In the Catalan coast it has been cited in L’Escala, Cala Aiguafreda and Tossa de Mar. It has also been cited in the North American Atlantic coast and in South Africa, but these identifications need to be confirmed.

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

References for the species: Doto coronata

    Cantabria: Hidalgo (1916), Ortea (1977c), Fernández-Ovies (1981), Fernández-Ovies and Ortea (1981). Galicia: Ortea (1977c), Urgorri and Besteiro (1983, 1984). Portugal: Hidalgo (1916), Nobre (1932), Calado et al. (1999). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1983), García-Gómez et al. (1989). Levante: Templado (1982b, 1983, 1984), Marín and Ros (1987). Catalunya: Ballesteros (1980, 1985).

    General: Abric, 1904a:6; Alder & Hancock, 1846:fam. 3, pl. 6[P]; Ballesteros, 1985:22; Bergh, 1879:577; Brown & Picton, 1979:7; Colgan, 1914:192; Dahl, 1925:163; Dekker, 1989:101; Demir, 1954:575; Derjugin, 1915:549; Fez Sanchez, 1974:95; Forbes & Hanley, 1850-1851:587; Gomoiu, 1961:1248; Gosliner, 1987b:106[P]; Gould, 1870:236[P]; Hayward, Wigham, & Yonow, 1990:710; Herdman, 1890:51; Herdman & Clubb, 1889:231; 1890:137; 1892a:137; Hoeven, 1856:782; Hoffmann, 1926:21; Hunnam & Brown, 1975:137; ICZN, 1976:694; Jeffreys, 1869:61; Kress, 1968:243; Larsen, 1925:43; Lemche, 1938:15; Loyning, 1927:261; McMillan, 1968:70; Meyer, 1970:142; Milachewitch, 1916:133; Nobre, 1931:33; 1936:23; 1938-40:75; Nordsieck, 1972:69; Picton, 1978a:73; Picton & Morrow, 1994:38[P]; Pruvot-Fol, 1927:43; 1954b:406; Riedl, 1970:430; 1983:323; Sars, 1878:317; Sauvage, 1873:34; Schmekel, 1970:183; Schmekel & Kress, 1977:472; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:160; Swennen, 1987:38; Thompson, 1988:130; Thompson & Brown, 1976:74; 1984:27[P]; Thompson, Cattaneo, & Wong, 1990:394; Trinchese, 1881:90; 1881a:90; Vayssiere, 1888d:99; 1913a:308; Verrill, 1873:665; Vicente, 1967:159

    Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007 & 2016, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:

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Cite this article as:

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

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