Doto floridicola

Doto floridicola (Simroth, 1888)

Doto floridicola 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 floridicola  Simroth, 1888


  • Doto susanae Fez, 1962

This is a species whose specimens can reach a length of more than 10 mm. The body is translucent but internal viscera give it a somewhat yellowish hue. The cephalic veil lobes stand out and they are generally depigmented while the cephalic region has a pre-rhinophoric keel. All the back is crossed by an almost continuous color line formed by numerous reddish-brown small spots joined together. This dorsal line passes between the rhinophores into the cephalic area and both rhinophore sheaths, either from the internal or the external side; however juveniles can have yellow rhinophoric sheaths. Generally, the sides of the body are not stained brown. The rhinophoric sheath is high and has a slightly wavy upper edge, at times it forms a lobe in the anterior region. The rhinophores are smooth and translucent, with white spots aligned on its front and back zones. There are up to 6 pairs of cerata on the dorsum, and each cerata has 4 rows of tubercles. The background color of the cerata is yellowish, but the tubercles are rather flattened but they are almost entirely pigmented of reddish-brown. The juveniles of 3-4 mm in length have not a fully formed brown dorsal stripe and tubercles of cerata have just an incipient browning. The pseudobranch appears in the form of two small semitransparent tubercles with a iridescent white inner core, with a common base and and located in the inside of the base of each cerata. The anal papilla is cylindrical and is located between the first and second right cerata. The genital openings are located under the first right cerata; the male genital opening is located in anterior position and it is situated on a brown pigmented papilla, while the female orifice is located slightly back, lacks any prominent papilla and it is unpigmented. The penis is stylet shaped and it is sharp and somewhat curved.

This species is very common in the Iberian Mediterranean coast on colonies of thecate hydroids of the genus Aglaophenia (A. pluma, A. Kirchenpaueri) and Synthecium where, because of its size and color, it is easy to observe. The spawns are laid on the same hydrozoan colonies where animals live and have the form of an undulated ribbon of 8-9 turns and 5-6 mm in length. The eggs are white and are very tight on the tape, their size is 80-90 microns.


  • Doto. From Latin “Doto”, a sea nymph, from Greek “Dōtō”.
  • Floridicola. From Latin “flos, floris”, flower + “-cōla”, from the verbal root of “colō”, I till, cultivate, inhabit: “Inhabits among flowers”.

It is a predominantly Southern European species since it has only been collected in the Açores (type locality for the species), Madeira, Canary islands, along the Portuguese coast, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. However, it has recently been observed in the UK and Ireland coasts. The Mediterranean records are both in the Eastern basin (Greece, Turkey), and the Western basin (Portofino Promontory in the Ligurian Sea, Gulf of Naples, the Iberian Levantine coast, Catalonia and the Balearic islands). In the Catalan coast D.floridicola has been cited or observed in Es Caials, l’Escala, Illes Medes, Llafranc, Tossa de Mar, Cala Canyelles, Cala Santa Cristina, Cala Sant Francesc and Blanes.

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

References for the species: Doto floridicola

    Portugal: Calado et al. (1999, 2003), García-Gómez et al. (1991). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1983), García-Gómez et al. (1989). Andalucía (Med.): Templado, Luque and Moreno (1988). Ceuta: Ortea et al. 2010 Levante: Templado (1982b). Catalunya: Ballesteros (1980, 1985), Pereira & Ballesteros (1982), Ballesteros (datos no publicados) [numerosas localidades de la Costa Brava]. Baleares: Ballesteros and Templado (1996). Canarias: Ortea et al. (2003), Ortea, Caballer and Moro (2003). Madeira: Ortea, Cabeller and Moro (2003). Azores: Simroth (1888), Wirtz (1998), Ávila et al. (1998), Ávila (2000), Malaquias (2001).

    General: Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:127[P]; Nordsieck, 1972:68; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:405; Schmekel & Kress, 1977:478; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:164[P]; Thompson, Cattaneo, & Wong, 1990:396

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


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

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

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