Is Phestilla panamica a good species?

February 11, 2005
From: Bill Rudman

I have just posted a message [#12811] and a Fact Sheet on an aeolid Hermosita hakunamatata from the Pacific coast of central America which was erroneously placed in the genus Phestilla by its original authors. I have decided to take the opportunity to post a Fact Sheet on a species of Phestilla which I described from the Pacific coast of Panama, Phestilla panamica Rudman, 1982. As far as I can see, all my colleagues have decided that this 'species' is just a far-flung outpost of the Indo-West Pacific species Phestilla lugubris. When I describe the species I discussed how similar it was to P. lugubris but felt that the radular morphology justified it being considered a separate species. I have also posted a message [#12287] illustrating the difference in radular morphology. Perhaps the animals I had were aberrant, but after seeing no difference in radular morphology of P. lugubris from east Africa to eastern Australia and Hawaii, the difference seems significant to me. Has anyone looked at the radula of other specimens of the east Pacific Phestilla? I would be interested to know what they are like.

I have no great interest in trying to preserve my 'name' but I certainly would like to know what other people think and whether anyone else has looked at its anatomy - and in particicular its radular morphology

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Feb 11) Is Phestilla panamica a good species?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Phestilla panamica

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