Paradoris indecora

Paradoris indecora (Bergh, 1881)

Paradoris indecora by Enric Madrenas

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: Discodorididae  Bergh, 1891
Genus: Paradoris  Bergh, 1884
Species: Paradoris indecora (Bergh, 1881) [Discodoris]


  • Discodoris cavernae (Starmühlner, 1955)
  • Discodoris indecora Bergh, 1881 (original)
  • Discodoris porri (Vérany, 1846)
  • Doris porri Vérany, 1846
  • Paradoris cavernae Starmülhner, 1955
  • Paradoris granulata Bergh, 1884

Specimens measure from 20 to 30 mm but literature shows that this species can reach up to 40 mm in length. The body is flattened and oval contoured. The general body color is gray or brown, more or less dark, sometimes with violet tones. There are small clear and black spots scattered around the dorsum, sometimes grouped together forming patches of these colors that match glandular openings. Rounded tubercles of different sizes but well spaced are scattered on the notum; large tubercles may have a cream coloured apex due to concentration of light spots. The binocular microscope shows tiny spikes protruding from the apex of the tubercles. The rhinophores are semitransparent at their base and the laminar portion has 10-16 brown spotted yellowish lamellae. The rhinophores terminal mucro is slightly developed. The rhinophoric orifice has a slightly elevated sheath that is slightly lobed (8-10 lobes) on the top edge; the rhinophoric sheath also has a few small tubercles. Gill consists of 6-8 tripinnate grayish or brown gill leaves, of the same colour of the body, with a semitransparent central shaft and with the end of the gill ramifications coloured cream or yellowish. Gill sheath, as the rhinophores’ sheath, is also high and lobed at its upper edge. As a characteristic feature, the gill leaves head backwards when extended. The anal papilla is located in the center of the gill leaves. The head has two short brown spotted oral tentacles that are cleft in their lower side. The foot and the underside of the mantle are coloured whitish with scattered reddish brown spots. The flanks of the foot also have the same colour spots. The mantle is very spiculous and radial arranged spiculae and crossing spiculae can be seen in the underside. The foot has a cleft and furrowed leading edge, while viscera can be seen as a blackish stain in the midsection.

This doridacean usually lives in shallow water, on the underside of rocks and near sponges like Ircinia fasciculata or Dysidea fragilis, on which it apparently feeds (Ortea, 1995). The animals of this species move very slowly and when disturbed they are capable of secreting a defensive whitish substance that forms a diffuse cloud around the animal. The spawn is a semitransparent strip about 5 mm high laid in a spiral of 4-5 turns; The eggs are white and measure about 165 microns on average (Ortea, 1995).


  • Indecora. From Latin “indecore”, improperly, inglorious, shameful, ugly, unbecoming, unseemly.

This species is distributed throughout the Mediterranean, from Israel to the Strait of Gibraltar. It has also been cited in all the Iberian Peninsula but Cantabria and Galicia, in the archipelago of Cape Verde, the Canary islands and the Balearic islands. In the Catalan coast it has been reported on the Costa Brava in locations like Cala Fredosa, Cala Sant Antoni, Es Caials (Cadaqués), L’Escala, Cala Aigua-Xelida, Cala Aiguafreda, Llafranc, Cala Margarida, Caleta de Palamos, Sant Feliu de Guixols, Tossa de Mar and also in Coves Cala Maset (Tarragona).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Paradoris indecora
: 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 Paradoris indecora based on our own records.

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Paradoris indecora" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 16/05/2012, Accessed: 18/01/2018 at (

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