Doris sticta

Doris sticta (Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923)

Doris sticta, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales. 22 June 1975 by Bernard Picton













































Doris sticta  (Iredale & O'Donoghue, 1923)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 139622).

  • Archidoris maculata (Garstang, 1896)
  • Archidoris maculata lutea Vayssière, 1919
  • Doridigitata sticta Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923 (original)
  • Doris eubalia Fischer P., 1872 
  • Doris maculata Garstang, 1896
  • Glossodoris dorbignii Gray, 1850

This nudibranch can reach a size of more than 40 mm long. Its overall color is yellow or cream. Very large rounded tubercles outstand on the back, there are many smaller tubercles radiating raised ridges connecting them all, giving the appearance of a grid on the dorsum. The color of tubercles is usually dark brown or slightly purple. The size of the tubercles decreases from the center to the edges of the dorsum. The rhinophores are yellowish, the base is semi-transparent and there are twenty thin lamellae on its upper portion, while the terminal mucron is underdeveloped. The rhinophoric sheath has two thick tubercles like the ones on the dorsum, one on the outer side and another on the inner side. Gill is composed by 5-6 tripinnate yellow leaves coloured in a slightly lighter shade than the body. The foot is also yellow and the mouth has a pair of short oral palps.

Very little is known about this rare species of nudibranch. In the British coast it has been observed in the subtidal rocky bottoms with sponges and cnidarians like Corynactis viridis. In the Catalan coast it has appeared deeper in commercial trawl fishering grounds like those found in front of the town of Blanes (Domenech et al. 2006) and in front of Barcelona (Ballesteros, 1985). It is assumed that it feeds on sponges like Ciocalypta penicillus. The spawn is a spiral wound ribbon of two turns with white or slightly yellowish eggs.


  • 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.
  • Sticta. Latinization of Greek “stiktē”, feminine of “stiktos”, tattooed, spotted.

Very little is known about its presence but literature indicates that is distributed from the north of the British Isles to the Mediterranean Sea, also cited in the Atlantic coast of Morocco and Madeira. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been recorded in the Bay of Biscay, in Portugal, in the Strait of Gibraltar and Catalonia (in the trawling grounds in front of Blanes, and Barcelona).

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


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

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

More pictures


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    Ballesteros, M., E. Madrenas, and M. Pontes. 2020. OPK - Opistobranquis. (
    Ballesteros, M., E. Madrenas, and M. Pontes. 2016. Actualización del catálogo de los moluscos opistobranquios (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira 6(2016): 1-28.
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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2020) "Doris sticta" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 13/08/2014, Accessed: 13/07/2020 at (

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