Goniodoris castanea

Goniodoris castanea (Alder & Hancock, 1845)

Goniodoris castanea (Portugal) by João Pedro Silva

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: Onchidoridoidea  J.E. Gray, 1827
Family: Goniodorididae  H. Adams & A. Adams, 1854
Genus: Goniodoris  Forbes & Goodsir, 1839
Species: Goniodoris castanea  Alder & Hancock, 1845


  • Doris pareti Vérany, 1846

The general coloration of animal is reddish brown. The size of specimens can reach about 40 mm in length, but most of the animals measure 15 to 20 mm. The body is high with a flattened dorsum, being separated from hiponotum by a margin, somewhat darker than the rest of the body. The cephalic region is has a bilobed veil ending with two tentacles that have a dorsal crest and small conical tubercles. The dorsum of the animal, the head, the body walls and the end of the feet also have these conical tubercles, somewhat lighter coloured than the rest of the body. In the center of the dorsum and tail, the alignment of the tubercles form characteristic longitudinal ridges. The rhinophores are high and whitish in color, have a dozen lamellae mottled with brown scores with a small cylindrical rhinophoric apex. The eyes are located below the base of the rhinophores, in the side wall of the head. There are 8 dark brown tripinnate gill leaves arranged in a horseshoe, one of them facing forward and the other facing sideways or backwards. The anal papilla is located in the center of the gill leaves.

This species is mainly found in shallow water, under stones that have colonial tunicates like Botrylloides leachi and Botryllus schlosseri, or the individual ascidian Ascidia mentula, from which it feeds.


  • Doris, marine nymph of the Greek mythology.
  • Goniodoris, angular shaped Doris.
  • Castanea, chestnut coloured.

It is distributed across all the Atlantic and Mediterranean European coasts. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been recorded in all the coasts and the Balearic and Canary islands. In the Catalan coast it has been observed in very few locations, most probably because it is very difficult to distinguish due to its camouflage on the substrate.

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

References for the species: Goniodoris castanea

    Cantabria: Ortea (1977c). Galicia: Ortea (1977c), Urgorri and Besteiro (1983, 1984). Portugal: De Oliveira (1895), Nobre (1932), García-Gómez et al. (1991), Calado et al. (1999, 2003). Andalucía (Atl.): Cervera and García-Gómez (1986), Wägele and Cervera (2001). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1983), García-Gómez et al. (1989), Sánchez-Moyano et al. (2000). Levante: De Fez (1974), Marín and Ros (1987). Catalunya: Ballesteros (1980, 1985), Domènech et al. (2002). Baleares: Templado (1982a). Canarias: Ortea et al. (1996, 2001), Moro et al. (2003). Madeira: Malaquias (unpubl. data).

    General: Abe, 1964:43, 85†; Alder & Hancock, 1847b:fam. 1, pl. 19†; Baba, 1955:45†; Bergh, 1880d:126; 1883:151; 1905:89; Brown & Picton, 1979:9; Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:37†; Cesari, 1990:†; Colgan, 1914:203; Dekker, 1989:98; Eliot, 1908a:105; Fez Sanchez, 1974:125†; Forbes & Hanley, 1850-1851:572; Garstang, 1890:452; Gosliner, 1987b:93†; Hayward, Wigham, & Yonow, 1990:715; Hunnam & Brown, 1975:145; Jeffreys, 1869:82; Masuda, 1999:98†; Nakano, 2004:84†; Nobre, 1931:45; 1936:31; 1938- 40:58; Nordsieck, 1972:52†; Ortea, Moro, Bacallado, & Herrera, 2001:†; Okutani, 2000:779†; Ortea, Moro, Bacallado, Pérez Sánchez, & Vallès. 1997:127; Perrone, 1986a:24; Picton & Morrow, 1994:52†; Powell, 1979:286; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:307; Riedl, 1970:427; 1983:331; Rolán & Otero-Schmitt, 1996:136†; Rudman & Darvell, 1990:34†; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:130†; Suzuki, 2000:48†; Swennen, 1987:33; Thompson, 1988:156; Thompson & Brown, 1976:80; 1984:40†; Tolmer, 1930:77; Trainito, 2003:25†; 2005:38†; Vayssière, 1901a:74; 1913a:352; Vicente, 1967:153; Wägele & Cervera, 2001:61; Walton, 1908:239

    Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007 & 2016, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:
This chart displays the observation probability for Goniodoris castanea based on our own records.

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Goniodoris castanea" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/06/2012, Accessed: 20/01/2018 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/JDsjg)

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