Chromodoris Lochi Facts: These Cute Species Have 2 Sexual Organs

The Chromodoris lochi is one of the most colorful and cute creatures in the ocean. This species is special because of its unique anatomy, such as 2 sexual organs, that enable it to thrive in its environment. Let’s dive deep into 5 amazing facts about this creature.

Chromodoris lochi
Scientific name: Chromodoris lochi
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Order: Nudibranchia
Genus: Chromodoris

1. Chromodoris lochi are sea slugs

The Chromodoris lochi is a type of mollusk known as a dorid nudibranch. They are members of the Chromodorididae family. You can easily recognize these species, as well as other sea slugs because they don’t have shells and their gills are exposed to the surroundings.

Chromodoris lochi resembles a slug on land, however, it’s cuter. It has an extended body with an average size of about 4 centimeters (under 2 inches) in length.

All dorid nudibranch species feature a mantle that covers their foot. Chromodoris lochi has a blueish mantle with a narrow white edge. There are black bands running around the margin and staying in the middle of the mantle.

The rest of its body (tail, foot, and two sides of the body) has the same color as that of the mantle, with a white border. Up to 3 horizontal stripes run along its body’s sides.

On its head, you can find a pair of sensory tentacles called rhinophores which are used to find their way around, like antennae. Similarly, this sea slug has 2 tentacles near its mouth. These tentacles help the species feel their surroundings and recognize food.

On the rear part of Chromodoris lochi’s body, you’ll see a feather-like structure that surrounds its anus. These are its gills which help the species breathe by absorbing oxygen from the water. The lochi’s gills and rhinophores have the same color. They can be transparent yellow, bright pink, or orange.

One of the fun facts about this creature is that the Shellos character in Pokemon is based on the Chromodoris lochi. Some of other animals that inspired the Pokemon characters are below:

2. They’re often confused with other Chromodoris species

The Chromodoris lochi has a similar look to other species in the Chromodori genus. They are usually mistaken for these 3 species below:

– Chromodoris boucheti: The gills of this species are white in the base and yellow in the top half. Along both the inside and outside faces of these gills, there’s a black line with a different length. Although the species appears different from Chromodoris lochi, some malacologists believe they are the same type based on molecular evidence.

Chromodoris boucheti

– Chromodoris willani has a bigger mantle. Their rhinophores and gills have different colors, ranging from brown to bluish-white. They also come in several color variants like pale blue, blue, or white. However, the key difference between the lochi and the willani is the numerous white speckles on willani’s gills and rhinophores.

Chromodoris willani has speckles

– Chromodoris dianae features a larger mantle coated in little white flecks. The lower parts of its rhinophores and gills are white or transparent yellow-orange, while the upper parts are yellow. The main distinction to recognize the dianae is its fragmented black lines on its mantle rather than consistent lines like Chromodoris lochi.

Chromodoris dianae/Cre: wiki
The Chromodoris lochi is named after Mr. Ian Loch, Technical Officer of The Australian museum. While staying in Queensland, this man accumulated and photographed enormous specimens of opisthobranchs for the museum.

The creature is also called Lochi Chromodoris, Lochi Sea Slug, Loch’s Chromodoris, or Loch’s Magnificent Slug.

3. Habitat and behavior

This species can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean, from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia to Australia’s northern shores.

Chromodoris lochi appears to prefer the undersides of overhangs on stony reefs at depths ranging from 5 to 30 meters. These could be the locations where its favored food is most likely to be located.

Chromodoris lochi lives on stony reefs

Chromodoris lochi lives a quite life on the ocean. They are calm and don’t move very fast. Sea slugs breathe through their entire body’s surface, however, gills are their primary respiratory organ.

Sea slugs breathe via the surface of their entire bodies, but their main reparatory organ is their gills.

The lochi is poisonous. To defend themselves, the species uses poisons contained in their mantle. These poisons are derived from the foods they consume.

4. They extract toxins from prey and use them as a weapon

In spite of the cute look, Chromodoris lochi are carnivorous species. Their diet includes other invertebrates, especially sponges. According to most reports, they eat Thorectidae sponges, comprising Semitaspongia sp. and Petrosaspongia mycofijiensis. Without a jaw, these mollusks crush their prey by using a special structure called a radula.

An intriguing feature of Chromodoris lochi and other nudibranch species is their ability to absorb specific toxins from their prey. These molecules are accumulated and relocated in specific glands on their mantle.

The dorid nudibranchs utilize these toxins as a weapon to defend themselves from predators like crabs, lobsters, or fish. This explains why these sea slugs are so colorful. Their brilliant colors act as a warning to their predators, like Stay away, I’m toxic.

5. They have 2 sexual organs

Like the other nudibranch species, Chromodoris lochi are hermaphrodites, this means that they have both male and female sexual organs. They cannot, however, spawn themselves; they must have a partner to reproduce.

Breeding occurs in a matter of minutes after a mating ritual like a tango. The eggs are laid in the form of a flat spiral with up to three swirls. This form of laying eggs like this is a characteristic shared by all true Chromodoris species.

The larvae spend most of their time living and consuming plankton before maturing into adults. The lifespan of Chromodoris lochi is quite short. Nudibranch species can live for a few weeks to a year, it’s up to the species.

References: Learn all About the Chromodoris Lochi, a Very Strange Mollusk –


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3 thoughts on “Chromodoris Lochi Facts: These Cute Species Have 2 Sexual Organs”

  1. Wow, new knowledge absorbed! Now I know that the species is real. I thought it was a Pokemon character, all about imagination. Don’t know it’s real


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