Mollusk of the Week (Chromodoris bullocki)Purple Dorid Nudibranch


Premium Member
Every week I will be posting a new mollusk for discussion. Please post everything you know about this week's mollusk, to include pics, care and feeding habits, optimal environment, common names, and anything else you can think of.

Please note that this week's mollusk is not recommended for captivity, as feeding needs are not confirmed and keeping them from being killed by the circulation system is problematic.


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New member

Thanks for spotlighting one of my very favorite sea creatures!
That's a great picture you've got there...beautiful color.

For those who have never paid much attention to these great little beasties, here's a few quick things.

Dorid nudibranchs or naked snails are primarily from the Indo Pacific.

Their diet consists mainly of sponges however, the types of sponges they eat differ from species to species. There are more than 3000 species.

These guys feed by raising their rhinophoral sheath around where those two antennae are and they expose a 'tongue' which rasps back and forth repeatedly to remove a small layer of 'sponge meat'(sorry, not a scientist).

Respiration takes place at the top of the back where the 'feathers' reside.

They reside mainly in shallow waters and tidal pools. Being hermaphroditic, they exchange sperm through tubes on the sides of their bodies, shortly thereafter expelling masses of eggs.

Unfortunately, as beautifully weird as they are, they are definitely NOT recommended for captivity by the aquarist. In an aquarium they will most likely starve to death.
Their lifespan in the wild is typically one year to 15 months. I also do not believe that they are protected by law from collection and trade because they are not 'endangered'.
It is therefore up to the hobbyist not to purchase these beauties and, if encountered in the LFS, to make the owners aware of these facts. (jumping off soapbox)

Oh yeah, one more thing, Dorids are named for the sea goddess Doris, the daughter of Oceanus.

Hope that was enjoyable for some of the newbies out there.


10 & Over Club
FWIW, I believe they feed on a species of Dysidea sponge and one other. There has been limited success feeding them an OTC product called Angel Formula with sponge. Also, pretty sure there has been a name change to Hypselodoris bullocki.


Premium Member
I did read something about the "Hypselodoris" name change, but remembered it as being a synonym in concurrent use. However, my memory has been known to be flawed in such matters. :D


New member
Cool - I have a name... These may not be as shallow as some seem to think - I have seen a number of them around 40 fsw arond the puget sound - water temp was around 46Ã"šÃ‚° and they were located on macro algae - just my observation.



Premium Member


Last call for info on the purple dorid nudibranch before this thread goes to the archive. If you have anything to share, now's the time. :D