Doris ocelligera

Doris ocelligera (Bergh, 1881)

Doris ocelligera by Manuel Ballesteros

Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Clade: Nudipleura  Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia  Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Euctenidiacea  Tardy, 1970
Infraorder: Doridacea  Thiele, 1931
Superfamily: Doridoidea  Rafinesque, 1815
Family: Dorididae  Rafinesque, 1815
Genus: Doris  Linnaeus, 1758
Species: Doris ocelligera (Bergh, 1881) [Staurodoris]


  • Aldisa berghi Vayssière, 1901
  • Staurodoris ocelligera Bergh, 1881 (original)

Although this doridacean can reach 25 mm in length, observed specimens are generally smaller, measuring between 10 and 15 mm. The body color is yellow or yellowish-green, slightly darker in the center of the dorsum because of the internal viscera. The mantle goes well beyond the visceral area. The whole body is very spiculous, especially the margins of the notum where a lattice of spicules can be observed together with other long ones in radial arrangement. As other species of the same genus, there are rounded, large and very apparent tubercles in the center of the dorsum and they are becoming increasingly smaller toward the edges of the body. Large tubercles seem to be aligned in multiple rows along the body and often have a dark brown spot at its apex, together with whitish granulations. The rhinophores are whitish or yellowish, somewhat lighter than the body, and are relatively short and with few lamellae (6-9). The rhinophoric sheath is high and has two laterally flattened tubercles that fold together closing the rhinophoric orifice when the rhinophore retracts. The gill is formed by 6-7  yellowish or greenish bipinnate gill leaves, semitransparent and with small brown scores near the end. The gill is located in very posterior position and when extended it is directed backwards. The gill sheath is rather high and its upper edge is slightly lobed. The foot is yellowish-green and protrudes slightly behind the mantle when the animal is moving. The mouth has two side rounded fingerlike protrusions and no oral palps.

This species is little known so far. It is usually located in rocky environments, under stones and among algae, where juveniles are often only a few millimeters in length; it is also found among Posidonia oceanica rhizomes. It seems to feed on sponges of the genus Halichondria, Hymeniacidon and Haliclona (Urgorri & Besteiro, 1984; Ortea 2014 et al.). Spawn is laid as an spirally wound ribbon with very small yellowish eggs of 65-85 microns in diameter (Schmekel & Portmann, 1982;. Ortea et al 2014.)


  • Doris. A sea nymph in Greek mithology, wife of Nereus and mother of the Nereids.
  • Ocelligera. From Latin “ocellus”, (little) eye + “gerere”, to bear, to carry, to wear.

This species is distributed from the French coast of the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean. It has also been cited in the Canary Islands, the Salvagem Islands, Madeira, Azores and Cape Verde (Ortea et al. 2014). In the Iberian Peninsula it has been recorded in all coastal areas, both Atlantic and Mediterranean, also in the Balearic islands (Cervera et al. 2004). In the Catalan coast it has been reported at Es Caials, Roses, L’Escala, Cala Aiguafreda Cala Canyelles, Tossa de Mar, Blanes, Mataró and Llavaneres.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Doris ocelligera
: 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 observation probability for Doris ocelligera based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Doris ocelligera" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 16/05/2012, Accessed: 20/01/2018 at (

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