Doris sticta

Doris sticta (Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923)

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

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 sticta (Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923)


  • 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). 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).

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:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:
This chart displays the observation probability for Doris sticta based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Doris sticta" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 13/08/2014, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (

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