Pink Doris – Felimida purpurea

The Pink Doris is a species in the class of the Gastropoda and thus belongs to the phylum of the Mollusca. Felimida purpurea was first described by Risso in 1831.

It is also found sometimes under the synonyms Chromodoris purpurea or Doris purpurea. On the basis of DNA findings, however, it has been shown that the Atlantic species from the genus Chromodoris represent an individual genus, Felimida.

Pink Doris Felimida purpurea Chromodoris purpurea gastropoda mollusca species diving canary islands atlantic ocean
Pink Doris – Felimida purpurea


ThePink Doris has a slightly elongated, oval body. The primary colour is violet, with lighter and darker areas. The edge of the body is yellow with adjacent white dots.

Both the rhinophores and the gills are violet with white tips.

At the back end, a small “snippet” protrudes beyond the body.

Felimida purpurea reaches a maximum size of 5cm in length.

Habitat and Distribution

The Pink Doris is usually found on a solid ground, down to depths of 30m.

When diving in the Canaries it is rarely observed.

In addition, its distribution area extends from the Bay of Biscay, along the European and African coast, across the Azores and Madeira, to Cape Verde. It is also found in the Mediterranean Sea.


Felimida purpurea is a food specialist and feeds on sponges.

So far, I’ve seen it mostly during night dives. However, you can also find them during the day. Then it is usually hidden under overhangs or shady reef areas.

The Pink Doris belongs to the family of the Chromodorididae. Chromodorididae are generally hermaphroditic, which fertilize each other and lay their eggs in strings. They first hatch as larvae that live pelagic and feed on plankton. Later on they undergo a metamorphosis to become a snail.


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