Doridella steinbergae (Cryptic nudibranch)
Copyright © 2010
Mary Jo Adams
This nudibranch is so tiny and well camouflaged, it is easily overlooked. Less than ½ inch (17 mm.) in length, Doridella has fine white lines that mark its otherwise transparent surface so that it blends almost perfectly with the encrusting bryozoan Membranipora that it lives and feeds on. Look for patches of Membranipora and Doridella on the kelps Macrocystis (giant California kelp), Nereocystis luetkeana (bull kelp), Saccharina latissima (sugar kelp) and on eelgrass (Zostera marina). When the bryozoan encrusted blade is removed from the water, watch for teardrop sized and shaped blobs adhering to the surface. Very close inspection may reveal these tiny nudibranchs. This species has also been known under the scientific names Corambella steinbergi, Corambella bolini, Corambe mosaica, Suhinia steinbergi, and Paracorambe steinbergi and the common name Steinberg’s dorid. This species is found in the low intertidal zone and at subtidal levels.
A similar species, Corambe pacifica can be distinguished by looking for a distinct notch at the posterior end. Corambe pacifica has also been known under the scientific names Doridella pacifica and Gulinia pacifica and the common name frost spot nudibranch.
page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 1/11/10.