Doto rosea

Doto rosea Trinchese, 1881

Doto rosea 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 rosea Trinchese, 1881


  • Doto aurea Trinchese, 1881
  • Doto aurita Hesse, 1872 
  • Doto cinerea Trinchese, 1881 (original)

Animals can reach a length of 12 mm but generally they do not exceed 10 mm. The body is semitransparent and coloured creamy-white, due to the internal viscera that can be observed through the integument. The back, sides of the body, head and the inside of the rhinophoric sheaths have scattered spots coloured red or very dark brown (almost black) of different sizes and shapes. There is also a very dark spot at the base of the cerata, that may be missing in the first pair. On the head, rhinophores are relatively long in relation to the body length and have the typical white granulations scattered across its surface without any recognizable pattern. These granulations are also found in the widened upper edge of the rhinophoric sheaths and front veil. Two pre-rhinophoric ridges descend from the anterior side of the base of the rhinophoric sheaths down to the front veil. There are generally five pairs of cerata along the body, this is perhaps the most useful feature for identifying this species. The cerata are slim when the animal is moving and has 4-5 rings of rounded tubercles, almost spherical, like the largest and most prominent apical tuber. On the inside of the developed cerata there is a tuberculate pseudobranch. The inner side of the cerata present a very dense cream or yellow-orange colour, may have whitish granulations and, sometimes, a dark spot blurred within each tubercle. The foot is narrow and semitransparent.

This species lives in rocky walls with algae and hydroids, the substrate cited in literature is the athecate hydrozoan colonies of Eudendrium sp. (Lemche, 1976; Schmeckel & Kress, 1977; Thompson et al., 1990). We have observed this species in Nature on thecate hydroids colonies as Aglaophenia sp., Obelia geniculata and other sertularids species and even on Posidonia oceanica leaves with epibiont hydroids. The spawn is laid on sertularid hydroid colonies as an elongated cord or narrow ribbon with white eggs.


  • Doto. From Latín “doto”, gifted.
  • Rosea. From Latín “roseus”, pink.

Doto rosea is a rare European species that has been cited in both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts, where it appears in both Eastern and Western basins. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been cited on the coasts of southern Portugal (Oliveira, 1895), on the coast of Andalusia (Atlantic and Mediterranean) and the Levantine coast (Cervera et al. 2004). In the Catalan coast, D. rosea has been observed in Llançà, L’Escala, L’Estartit, Medes islands and Tossa de Mar.

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

References for the species: Doto rosea

    Andalucía (Med.): Ballesteros et al. (1986). Levante: Templado, Talavera and Murillo (1983). Baleares: Templado (1982a, as Doto sp.). Portugal: De Oliveira (1895), Hidalgo (1916), Nobre (1832), García-Gómez et al. (1991), Calado et al. (1999, 2003). Andalucía (Atl.): Cervera (unpubl. data). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1987), García-Gómez et al. (1989). Andalucía (Med.): Templado, Luque and Moreno (1988). Levante: Marín and Ros (1991).

    General: Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:29[P]; Fez Sanchez, 1974:96; Garcia-Gomez, 1987:206; Gosliner, 1987b:107[P]; Nobre, 1931:34; 1936:24; 1938-40:76; Nordsieck, 1972:69; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:406; Schmekel & Kress, 1977:489; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:167[P]; Thompson, Cattaneo, & Wong, 1990:398; Trinchese, 1881a:92; Vayssiere, 1913a:310

    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:

Pujals, Álvaro, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Doto rosea" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 16/04/2013, Accessed: 17/12/2018 at (

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