Doris marmorata

Doris marmorata Risso, 1818

Doris marmorata @ L'Escala, Spain by Enric Madrenas













































Doris marmorata  Risso, 1818

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 139618).
Doridacean with an oval body, with a maximum size of 12 mm. Body with a firm and rough texture. Slightly domed back, covered with sparsely spaced rounded tubercles, some of which are tipped with orange-red color, almost absent in the central part of the mantle. Grayish-white mantle, with some reddish-brown areas, which correspond to the internal viscera, visible due to transparency. The mantle is bordered by a series of tubercles arranged closely together so that they have the appearance of scales, some of which are reddish brown. Retractable rhinophores, slightly conical in shape, with the distal part stained red, with up to 15 relatively wide lamellae. Rhinophoric sheaths low, with some protuberances on the edge and with two “normal” tubercles on each side. Gills located on the back of the mantle, where six pinnate white leaves can be seen forming a circle around the anus. The mantle completely covers the foot, which is narrow and elongated, with rounded and entire ends, and with the anterior part topped by an oral tentacle on each side of the mouth. The entire lower part of the body is white, but the posterior third of the foot can show a reddish hue due to the internal viscera.

Very rare species due to its minute size, many details of its biology are unknown. All the specimens found to date appeared under stones where, like the other dorids, it probably feeds on sponges.


  • Doris. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys, wife of Nereus and mother of the Nereids.
  • Marmorata. From Latin verb “marmoro”, to coat in marble.

Initially described on the coast of Nice (France), it has also been reported on Pipéri Island (Greece) and in Porto Paone (Naples, Italy). A recent discovery by Enric Madrenas on the coast of L’Escala (Girona, Spain) is probably the first record for the Iberian Peninsula.

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


    Western Mediterranean: ★☆☆☆☆
    Eastern Mediterranean: ★☆☆☆☆
    Atlantic Ocean: ☆☆☆☆☆

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Doris marmorata based on our own records.

More pictures


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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel (2023) "Doris marmorata" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 28/02/2024. Accessed: 19/04/2024. Available at (

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