Runcina from Malta

August 22, 1999
From: Juan Lucas Cervera

Hi Bill!

First of all, I have to tell that identifying Runcina species, usually, it is necessary to check the gizzard plates, jaws, radula and the penial bulb (principally the radula). Only the coloration is not definitive.
Nevertheless, in this case I'm in agreement that Runcina sp. 3 seems to be R. adriatica.

For me, Runcina sp. 1. could be R. coronata (Quatrefages, 1844) and Runcina sp. 2 seems very much to R. ornata (Quatrefages, 1844).

I suggest to Constantine to check the following reference, which includes a colour plate of 6 Runcina species:

Cervera, J.L., Garcia-Gomez, J.C. & Garcia, F.J. (1981) The genus Runcina Forbes & Hanley, 1851 (Opisthobranchia: Cephalaspidea) in the Strait of Gibraltar, with the description of a new species from the Bay of Algeciras. Journal of Molluscan Studies 57: 199-208 (T.E. Thompson Memorial Issue).

I hope this can be useful.


Cervera, J.L., 1999 (Aug 22) Runcina from Malta. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Lucas,
My first publication was on runcinids from New Zealand, so they are of special interest to me. I also remember the difficulty in using the literature on European species where misidentifcations were obviously occurring 100 years ago. It was also the first time I experienced the old-style museum curator, fiercely protective of his collections. The common intertidal runcinid in New Zealand was mistakenly identified as Runcinella zelandica Odhner because that species was the only one known from New Zealand. However its internal anatomy was quite different from that published by Odhner so I wrote to the great Henning Lemche to borrow Odhner's type material to re-examine its anatomy. Lemche replied, after two reminders, quoting an old Scandinavian proverb about fish in the sea, which basically said that they only had 2 specimens and I had an ocean full of them, so go and get my own! Finally he did agree to send the types but preferred that I did not dissect them. It was some years later that Richard Willan actually reported the rediscovery of actual specimens of Odhner's Runcinella zelandica.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.


Runcina spp.

Related messages

  1. Re: Runcina from Malta
    From: Constantine Mifsud, August 28, 1999
  2. Species of Runcina from Malta
    From: Constantine Mifsud, August 21, 1999

Show factsheet and all related messages