Intertidal Invertebrates of the Monterey Bay Area, California

Compiled & photographed by Gary McDonald, Long Marine Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz

Rostanga pulchra MacFarland, 1905
Red Sponge Dorid
Mollusca: Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia: Nudibranchia: Doridina: Eudoridoidea: Dorididae
Geographic Range: Pt. Craven, AK, to Gulf of California, Mexico; Panama; Chile; Argentina. Synonyms:
Back to: Doridina Back to: Intertidal Invertebrates of the Monterey Bay Area
Carmel Pt., Monterey Co., CA; 28 Apr 2009; 13mm total length.

Description: Ground color orange to bright red or scarlet, although occasional specimens are light salmon pink. Dorsum sprinkled with various amounts of minute, brown to black dots, and bearing numerous carophyllidia which give a fuzzy appearance. Rhinophores same color as dorsum, with 16-24 nearly vertical lamellae, shaft prolonged above clavus and bluntly tipped. Branchial plumes 8-12, unipinnate, same color as dorsum. Can be distinguished from the similar Aldisa sanguinea which has oblique rhinophore lamellae; and dorsum less fuzzy.
Size: Usually about 10mm in length, but may exceed 30mm.
Notes: Feeds on various red sponges such as: Acarnus erithacus, Antho lithophoenix, Axocielita originalis, Clathria (Microciona) pennata, & Plocamia karykina

Carmel Point, Monterey Co., CA; 31 July 2007; 11mm total length.
Carmel Pt., Monterey Co., CA; 7 May 2008; 15mm total length.
Carmel Pt., Monterey Co., CA; 23 June 2009; 14mm total length.
Carmel Pt., Monterey Co., CA; 16 Mar 2008; 12mm total length.
Asilomar, Monterey Co., CA; 8 Apr 2008; 17mm total length. Close-up of rhinophore.
Scott Creek, Monterey Co., CA; 10 Dec 2008; 3mm total length.

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