Doto koenneckeri

Doto koenneckeri (Lemche, 1976)

Doto koenneckeri by Bernard Picton

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 koenneckeri  Lemche, 1976

This species usually reaches 5 mm in length. The body color is yellowish but the back and sides are almost evenly pigmented brown; usually the only depigmented zones are the foot and a line that runs along the bases of the cerata. Cephalic veil is well developed. The rhinophoric sheath is not very high, it has a smooth upper edge and has several brown spots on the inner face, there are also white granulations at the upper edge of the sheath and in the front and the back surfaces of the rhinophores. In front of each rhinophore there is a marked pre-rhinophoric keel. There are up to 7 yellowish cerata on each side of the body, the most developed ones have up to four circles of well developed tubercles (with five tubercles in the top row) and pointing outwards; the apical tubercle is long and narrow. At the tip of each tubercle there is a “comma” shaped brown stain, except in the apical tubercle which is a rounded brown stain; tubercles can also have other small brown scores and whitish granulations. The pseudobranchia is poorly developed and it is reduced to 1-2 depigmented rounded projections on the inner base of the cerata. The anal papilla is located between the first and second right cerata, it is cylindrical and its inner part is strongly pigmented white. The genital papilla is not pigmented and is located below the first right cerata.

This species, like others of the same genus, is closely associated with pennate hydrozoans of the genus Aglaophenia (A. kirkenpaueri, A. pluma, A. tubiformis) or Lytocarpia (L. myriophyllum). On these hydrozoans D.koenneckeri keeps a perfect mimicry, so it is very difficult to observe to the naked eye. The existence of individuals in the colonies can be guessed by observing egg spawns on them, because they are coloured white and form a undulated ribbon with 4-5 turns. The length of the spawn is about 3 mm and the size of the eggs is about 60-70 microns in diameter.


  • Doto, from Latin Doto, a sea nymph, from Greek Dōtō
  • Koenneckeri, in honor to Gerd Koennecker, diving biologist at Galway University

This is an European species of recent description (Lemche, 1976). It nevertheless has been cited in several coastal areas of northern Europe (Norway, UK, Ireland), the Açores, the city of Ceuta and in the Mediterranean. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been observed on the Cantabrian coast, in Galicia, on the Portuguese coast, the Levantine coast and in Catalonia. The locations of the Catalan coast where it has been cited are Es Caials (Cadaqués), Punta Falconera (Roses), Punta del Ferro (L’Escala), Tossa de Mar, Cala Canyelles and Cubelles among others.

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

References for the species: Doto koenneckeri

    Galicia: Ortea and Urgorri (1978), Fernández-Ovies (1981), Fernández-Ovies and Ortea (1981), Urgorri and Besteiro (1983, 1984). Portugal: García-Gómez et al. (1991), Calado et al. (1999, 2003). Andalucía (Med.): Templado, Luque and Moreno (1988), Sánchez Tocino, Ocaña and García (2000a). Ceuta: Ortea et al. 2010 Catalunya: Ballesteros (1984b), Ballesteros (datos no publicados) [numerosas localidades de la Costa Brava], M@re Nostrum [Punta del Bau del Molí (El Port de la Selva) 5/1999]. Azores: Calado (2002). Cantabria: Ortea and Urgorri (1978), Fernández-Ovies (1981).

    General: Brown & Picton, 1979:6; Just & Edmunds, 1985:26[P]; Ortea & Urgorri, 1978:74[P]; Picton & Morrow, 1994:46[P]; Thompson, 1988:142

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


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Doto koenneckeri" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 17/05/2012, Accessed: 13/12/2018 at (

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