Geitodoris pusae

Geitodoris pusae (Er. Marcus, 1955)

Geitodoris pusae @ Lake Worth lagoon, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA 24-09-2009 by Anne DuPont













































Geitodoris pusae  (Er. Marcus, 1955)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 139582).
Taxonomic note: According to Alvin and Pimenta (2013), Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic specimens of G. pusae belong to a diferent species than those from the Western Atlantic because of a series of different morphological traits: “Geitodoris pusae was recorded from the Canary Islands and Mediterranean Sea (Ortea et al.1988; Ortea,1990; Tocino et al. 2006). We observed important morphological differences between these earlier descriptions and the specimens collected from Brazil. The specimens described by Ortea et al. (1988); Ortea (1990) and Tocino et al. (2006) present serrations in the marginal teeth of the radula (when these serrations are present) restricted to the distal part of the tooth, whereas in the specimens from Brazil the serrated portion occurs in all concave surfaces of the teeth. Furthermore, in specimens from Europe, a denticle in the innermost lateral tooth, even incipient, has never been reported. In European specimens, the gill is always brown with lighter tips and the branchial sheath is the same tone as the rest of the mantle; however, in Brazilian specimens the branchial leaves located anteriorly are beige, the more posterior branchial leaves are translucent orange, and the smooth branchial sheath is also beige. Ortea et al. (1988) and Ortea (1990) illustrated the reproductive system as presenting a narrow and long vestibular gland with an elongated shape and a long duct, whereas in specimens from Brazil, the vestibular gland is rounded with a short duct, more similar to the description of Tocino et al. (2006) for Mediterranean specimens. The differences that were observed in all specimens from Europe, in terms of coloration, gill morphology, and radula, lead us to consider the species from Europe as distinct from Western Atlantic G. pusae”. Until a molecular phylogeny is conducted we keep the Mediterranean specimens from Granada as G. pusae.


  • Discodoris pusae Marcus Er., 1955

Body elliptical, dorsally flattened, up to 40 mm long alive and coloured from beige to brown, sometimes orange, with several dark brown irregular stains loosely arranged. Sometimes with beige granules shaped like a star, aligned behind the rhinophores. Mantle densely covered by somewhat rounded tubercles of different sizes and irregularly distributed that give it a coriaceous texture; tubercles are smaller in the mantle edge and in center of mantle, and bigger along the sides of mantle, specially in the center of the beige-whitish star-shaped dorsal marks. Mantle also has a net like structure with a gland in the middle of each net cell, whose external orifices can be observed in preserved specimens. The underside of the mantle is coloured smooth orange. Rhinophoral sheaths are prominent, densely covered by tubercles, occasionally with some granules. Rhinophores are of the same colour as the body, and have a cylindrical stem, with a white tip and 12-17 diagonal distal perfoliations that occassionally bear some whitish spots. Branchial sheath is prominent and smooth, without any tubercles, coloured beige in the frontmost side. Gills have 6-8 retractile, tripinnate branchial leaves, growing symmetrically along the dorsal median line. The anterior branch leaves are coloured beige while the rearmost are translucent orange. The two branchial leaves on the rear surround the high anal papilla. Foot is narrower than the mantle, on the anterior side is grooved and notched forming two “lips” and it has two short and conical (digitiform in European specimens) oral tentacles, while on the rear side it forms a rounded tail.

Probably feeds on sponges. The spawn is a white spiral ribbon with crenulated border of 5-19 mm of diameter and 2 mm of height, with about 2.5–3.5 whorls laid in counterclockwise direction. Eggs form numerous rows of many tiny eggs irregularly disposed in capsules of about 50 microns. Little else is known from its biology.


  • Geitodoris. From Greek “geitonos”, neighbor (meaning close or similar) + “Doris”, in Greek mythology, the wife of Nereus, a sea nymph and mother of the Nereids.
  • Pusae. Del Latín “pusa”, niña, niña pequeña.

Originally described from Ilha de São Sebastião, São Paulo, Brazil, it has been later reported at Florida (USA), Puerto Rico & Curaçao (Ev. Marcus, 1977); Costa Rica & Martinique (Valdés et al., 2006); Jamaica (Thompson, 1980); Brazil: Pará state (Ev. MARCUS, 1970); Alagoas state (Padula et al. , 2012); Rio de Janeiro state: Cabo Frio, Arraial do Cabo (Alvim & Pimenta, 2013), Búzios (Domínguez, 2006), Angra dos Reis (Alvim & Pimenta, 2013); São Paulo state: Ilha de São Sebastião (Er. Marcus, 1955), Ilhabela e Ilha das Cabras (Domínguez, 2006); Argentina (Ev. Marcus, 1977). There are records of this species in the Eastern Atlantic (Madeira and Canary islands) and the Mediterranean (Granada, Spain) that we accept as G. pusae until proven otherwise.

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

References for the species: Geitodoris pusae


    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 Geitodoris pusae based on our own records.



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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2021) "Geitodoris pusae" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 22/02/2015. Accessed: 26/10/2021. Available at (

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