Pleurobranchus testudinarius? from Brazil

April 11, 2005
From: Armando de Luca Jr

Dear Bill,

I've photos of  Pleurobranchus areolatus from three islands (Alcatrazes; Laje de Santos; Queimada Grande) of Sao Paulo State, Brazil. The specimens was 20cm to 25cm and the depth was 20m to 25m. Frequently in couples.

Locality:  Laje de Santos Marine State Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Atlantic Ocean. Depth: 25 m. Length: 250 mm. June 2004. sand and rocky bottom. Photographer: Armando de Luca Jr.

Armando de Luca Jr

de Luca, A, 2005 (Apr 11) Pleurobranchus testudinarius? from Brazil. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Armando,
This is a very interesting find. I think your animals are not P. areolatus but rather Pleurobranchus testudinarius. This species is quite common in the Mediterranean, but to my knowledge the only record of it in the Western Atlantic is of one preserved animal from Maranhao in northern Brazil (Marcus, 1970). In an earlier message to the Forum [#2493], it is reported from Florida, but no photo was available.

If we can confirm your identification, then it is possibly a natural distribution as there are quite a number of opisthobranchs which are found on both sides of the Atlantic, though it is strange that such a big animal has not been reported before. The scattered large, nipple-like papillae are characteristic of the species.

  • Marcus, Ev. (1970) Opisthobranchs of Northern Brazil. Bulletin of Marine Science, 20(4): 922-951

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Apr 11). Comment on Pleurobranchus testudinarius? from Brazil by Armando de Luca Jr. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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