Collingwood's Chromdoris (Chromodoris collingwoodi)

Family: Chromodorididae

"Even though it has the name Collingwood, it has no colour resemblance to the Australian AFL team!"

The Collingwood's Chromodoris (Chromodoris collingwoodi) is an opisthobranch species that is a member of the nudibranch family Chromodorididae. The Chromodorididae family is one of the largest nudibranch families and species within this family are generally brightly coloured. This species can be found in the waters of the Western Pacific and the furthest south that it has been recorded on the east coast of Australia is Sydney in NSW. Its distribution includes the waters of Indonesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is a fairly common species and can be found in sponge gardens of bays and estuaries and also offshore on coastal reefs.

The mantle of Chromodoris Collingwoodi has a purple border and the body of the nudibranch has a white region with an orange/brownish patch that extends from the front of the rhinophores (the nudibranchs 'horns') to behind the gills at the back. Additionally, many bright yellow spots can be found scattered throughout the white body, generally along the edge of the mantle where the purple border is. Also, within the white body there are purple spots that are scattered around the white margin and one other important characteristic is the scattering of fine white specks all over of the central brown region. The white specks are most noticeable where they concentrated over the dark purple spots.

The rhinophore stalk is translucent whilst the club is a dark reddish brown with white specks along the edge of the lamellae and a white tip. The gills are translucent with a dark brown, almost black, line down the two edges of each of the outer and inner sides. The mantle underside is white with a purple edge and there is a small purple spot on each of the oral tentacles. The foot is white and has a row of small bright yellow spots around the edge. This species is often confused with Chromodoris aureopurpurea however this species differs by having a white coloured mantle with yellow spots (except at the edge) and the diffuse purple band around the edge.

Chromodoris Collingwoodi is known to feed on a black encrusting sponge and grows to a maximum size of approximately 10cm.

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