Bursatella leachii Blainville, 1817 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Heterobranchia), a successful global sea hare

Bursatella leachii by Alexander Semenov

Miquel Pontes1 & Manuel Ballesteros 1, 2 1VIMAR, Vida Marina 2Emeritus Professor, Universitat de Barcelona, mballesteros@ub.edu Introduction Sea hares (Gastropoda, Heterobranchia, Aplysiida) are mollusks that live in temperate, subtropical or tropical seas. No species lives in polar seas. Most of the approximately 80 known species are medium to large in size and their diet is strictly herbivorous. Many species of sea hares have well-developed lateral extensions of the body (known…

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“Resurrecting” species: the case of the sea slug Dendrodoris temarana

Dendrodoris temarana by Manuel Ballesteros

by Manuel Ballesteros Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, mballesteros@ub.edu A scientific article (Galià-Camps et al., 2022) has been recently published in which the validity of a “forgotten” sea slug species (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia) was reinstated, as it had been considered a synonymous of other Mediterranean species. Here I tell the story of Dendrodoris temarana Pruvot-Fol, 1953 in the scientific literature and also “my story” with it, with numerous personal experiences…

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How to distinguish Trinchesia with blue and yellow cerata

Trinchesia morrowae by Enric Madrenas

Those who dive in winter in the waters of the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic Ocean have the opportunity to observe certain white nudibranchs that have cerata with a blue subapical band and a yellow apical band. It was initially thought that they were different phases of the same species, Trinchesia caerulea, quite common in the Western Mediterranean and near Atlantic, but since the paper published by Korshunova et al. (2019)…

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New guide on the sea slugs from Thau lagoon (France)

Doris verrucosa @ Basin de Thau, France 30.05.2020 by Pascal Girard

A commented and illustrated guide has just been published containing all the sea slugs species inventoried in the Thau lagoon (Hérault, France) from 2008 to the present. This work, with almost 200 pages, presents the main diving spots in the area, as well as the 63 observed species, illustrated with high-quality photos and commented with very interesting observations on the biology and some phenotypic data of each species.    …

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The sea slugs of Barcelona

Algunas babosas marinas de las costas de la ciudad de Barcelona

The article “Sea slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Heterobranchia): the other Inhabitants of the city of Barcelona (Spain)” written by Alex Parera, Miquel Pontes, Xavier Salvador and Manuel Ballesteros has been published in number 84 of the Catalan Institute of Natural History Bulletin (BICHN),  in which an inventory of the species of these interesting molluscs is made along the coastal front of the city of Barcelona. This work has been carried out…

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Not all nudibranchs are carnivores

El nudibranquio Polycerella emertoni. Foto de Manuel Ballesteros

In July 2020, an interesting article (Camps-Castellà et al., 2020) was published in the prestigious journal Marine Ecology Progress Series (MEPS), which, under an apparently trivial title, announces a paradigm shift: “Not all nudibranchs are carnivores“. Nudibranchs (Mollusca, Nudibranchia) have traditionally been considered one of the most highly specialized groups of predators (Megina & Cervera 2003) and, in fact, they are classified into four groups based on their diet: sponge…

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Farewell, Lenka

Lenka Juskaničová

It is not very often that you find people with whom you share the same hobbies but, luckily, from time to time it happens, and in these cases a very special personal connection is established. We become part of their world, and they become part of ours. Lenka Juskaničová was one of these people. Over the years many of us have shared several hobbies with her: scuba diving, underwater photography,…

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Curiosities about nudibranchs

Elysia timida by Miquel Pontes

Did you know…?   The word “nudibranch” means “naked gills”. Derives from the Latin “nudus” (naked) and the Greek “brankhia” (gills). It refers to the small flower shaped protuberances that can be seen on the back of many of these animals. There are more than 3,000 species of nudibranchs. They live from the surface to depths of 2,500 meters. They are found in all seas, from the tropics to the…

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