Variable dorid

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Variable dorid
Aphelodoris brunnea
Aphelodoris brunnea may09 pyramid.jpg
A live individual of Aphelodoris brunnea in situ, head end towards the upper left
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Nudipleura
clade Nudibranchia
Superfamily: Doridoidea
Family: Dorididae
Genus: Aphelodoris
Species: A. brunnea
Binomial name
Aphelodoris brunnea
Bergh, 1907

The variable dorid scientific name Aphelodoris brunnea, is a species of dorid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Dorididae.


This species is endemic to South Africa, where it is known from Buffels Bay near Cape Point to East London. It is common off Port Elizabeth and is found from the low intertidal to 15 m.[1]


A close-up of the rhinophores of the variable dorid

The variable dorid is a drably coloured nudibranch with a pale body and variable brown patterning. It has eight gills arranged around the anus and its rhinophores are perfoliate. It may reach a total length of 45 mm.[2]


The variable dorid probably feeds on sponges. When disturbed, the animal tries to escape by swimming, flexing its body up and down.


  1. ^ GOSLINER, T.M. 1987. Nudibranchs of Southern Africa ISBN 0-930118-13-8
  2. ^ ZSILAVECZ, G. 2007. Nudibranchs of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay. ISBN 0-620-38054-3