Doto fragilis

Doto fragilis (Forbes, 1838)

Doto fragilis @ L'Escala, Girona, Spain 6.03.2021 by Paqui Serra & Oriol Planes

Taxonomy
 

Superdomain

Biota  

 

Kingdom

Animalia  

 

Phylum

Mollusca  

 

Class

Gastropoda  

 

Subclass

Heterobranchia  

 

Infraclass

Euthyneura  

 

Subterclass

Ringipleura  

 

Superorder

Nudipleura  

 

Order

Nudibranchia  

 

Suborder

Cladobranchia  

 

Superfamily

Dendronotoidea  

 

Family

Dotidae  

 

Genus

Doto  

 

Species

Doto fragilis  (Forbes, 1838)

 
 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 139640).
Synonyms

  • Doto aurita Hesse, 1872
  • Doto pinnigera Hesse, 1872
  • Melibaea fragilis Forbes, 1838
  • Melibaea minuta Forbes, 1844

Description
With a body size up to 40mm it is one of the bigger Doto, although Mediterranean specimens are generally smaller. Body base colour is yellowish-brown and shows a line of white dots along the border of the oral veil and the body flanks from the base of the rhinophores to the tail. It has two rows of up to 9 cerata along the sides of the back. Each cera is formed by rings of tubercles that bear no apical marks but have scattered white dots more dense to the tip of each tubercle. Pseudobranchs are very developed transversally. The back has clusters of white dots between cerata. Rhinophores are retractile and of the same colour of the body. Rhinophoral sheaths are trumpet-shaped with a smooth rim lined with white dots and a distinctive crest visible ahead of their base.

Biology
Found at relatively shallow depth (above 20 m), this species feeds on the hydrarians Nemertesia antennina and N. ramosa. These animals keep a perfect mimicry on the hydrozoans so they are very difficult to observe by the naked eye. The existence of specimens in the colonies can be guessed when spawns are observed on them. Spawns form long white undulated ribbons laid on the hydrarians it lives on. The animal is frequently found at the base of the hydrarian.

Etymology

  • Doto. From Latin “doto”, gifted.
  • Fragilis. From Latin “fragilis”, fragile, weak.

Distribution
This species is common around the British Isles and the northern French Brittany, with a general distribution from Norway to the Mediterranean, where we had no previous reports until March, 6th, 2021 when Paqui Serra and Oriol Planes found a specimen at L’Escala, Girona, Spain (see pictures below).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Doto fragilis
Sources:
: OBIS
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: GBIF.ORG
: OPK
: VIMAR
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions

References for the species: Doto fragilis

Similar species
Doto hystrix, an Atlantic species similar in colour but with conical tubercles on cerata. Doto lemchei, smaller, paler with white glands visible on the tips of the tubercles.

Abundance

    Western Mediterranean:1 out of 5 stars
    Eastern Mediterranean:0 out of 5 stars
    Atlantic Ocean:2 out of 5 stars
Month

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Doto fragilis based on our own records.

Videos

 

More pictures

Bibliography

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2021) "Doto fragilis" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 18/09/2014. Accessed: 27/10/2021. Available at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/BDE6l)

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