Chromodoris marislae Bertsch, 1973
This species is endemic to the central and southern Gulf of California, Mexico, in subtidal depths from 15 to 100 feet. Named after a boat (which is still afloat), its body color is off-white. On the dorsal surface are 2-3 irregular rows of orange spots peripherally, inside of which is an approximately circular grouping of larger orange ringlets, each surrounded or marked centrally with a frosty white margining. This distinctively brilliant white and orange coloration is most likely an aposematic or warning pattern. Its metabolic chemical defense (foul taste!) has been identified as marislin, derived from compounds in its sponge prey. Adult length is 2.5 to 3 inches. The 2 and 1/2 whorl egg mass is white, gently ruffled on its free edge.
Photos and text by Dr. Hans Bertsch