Dendrodoris warta

Image courtesy of Carol and Bob Cox
Deep South Crane Reef, 6 miles off the coast of Mexico Beach, Florida in the northern Gulf of Mexico
Olympus C5050 in an Ikelite housing with one DS-125 strobe.
Copyright 2011, Carol Cox

Dendrodoris warta Marcus & Gallagher 1976

Truly one of the giants of the Caribbean nudibranch fauna, Dendrodoris warta reaches up to 120 mm in length, although there are several diver reports of specimens reaching 6-9 inches. For its size one might expect more sightings, but nope, this is a relatively uncommon species. Its color - grey on grey - gives it a gentlemanly look. The gills and rhinophores, grey, like tuxedo accessories. This color and that of the dorsal tubercles does vary, even to pink.

This species likely produces direct development larvae as the egg mass is composed of numerous large eggs, as opposed to species with planktonic larvae, which have egg ribbons with millions of eggs.

Like other porostomes, this species feeds on sponges. It has no radula, so must dissolve the sponge by spitting saliva on the surface, to soften it, so it may be slurped up. Carol's photo clearly shows the mouth with no head tentacles present on the sides of the head. Absence of head tentacles is a good indicator the animal is a radula-less porostome.

Carol reports:

"... During the summer of 2010, large numbers of Dendrodoris warta were spotted including as many as 10 on this particular structure. Water depth: 60 feet. Website ..."

The species has been observed from South Carolina to Venezuela.

Dave Behrens
Gig Harbor, Washington
Sept., 2011

Bob and Carol on the job for marine conservation
Carol and Bob Cox are retired from the Air Force and live in Mexico Beach,
Florida on the northern Gulf of Mexico. They are on the board of directors
for the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA), an all-volunteer
organization that raises funds to deploy artificial reefs in the local
waters. They also use their talents as divers and underwater photographers
to do research for MBARA, surveying conditions of the artificial reefs and
cataloguing the surrounding marine life. To learn more about MBARA and see
photos of the reefs and marine life, go to

Send Carol email at

The 12 Annual San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition is set for Friday and Saturday evenings, September 9 and 10, 2011 7:00 pm at Irwin M Jacobs' Qualcomm Hall.

Thirty-two short underwater films, produced by leading professional and amateur videographers from around the world, will be highlighted at the 12 Annual San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition in Irwin M Jacobs' Qualcomm Hall big screen auditorium!

Starting at 7:00 pm, each evening will feature 16 different films, most in high definition, limited to 5 minutes each of fast-paced action. A state-of-the-art digital projection system will bring the world beneath the surface to the eyes of the audience.

This exhibition is unique because there are no entry fees and no prizes, except for the prestige of having a film chosen. An independent panel of three distinguished judges will select the best films among many international entries.

Each year the bar is raised in terms of quality and excitement. From the kelp forests of California to the coral islands of Indonesia, from the sperm whales of the Caribbean to the mantas of the Maldives, there will be something for everybody.

Also shown for the first time will be the winner of Capture the World, an international video competition. Tickets are available for $15 per evening online at SDUFEX . SDUFEX is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Birch Aquarium , San Diego Coastkeeper, and the Chula Vista Nature Center. Previous shows have been sellouts, so get your tickets early. A limited number of tickets may be available at the gate.

Seating is open, and doors open 30 minutes prior to the show. Parking is free on the Qualcomm campus. Further information is available online at Contact information: Pete Fowler, Mary Lynn Price , or Eric Hanauer .

A Film Trailer of the forthcoming event is now up on YOU Tube !

Send Pete email at
Send Mary Lynn email at
Send Eric email at

From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angle Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

Send Dave email at

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