Re: Aeolid from New York

December 15, 2006
From: Anthony Fernando

Concerning message #1142:

Hi Dr. Rudman,

I recently found this short paper by Dr. Franz:

  • Franz, D. R. (1968) Taxonomy of the eolid nudibranch Cratena pilata (Gould) Chesapeake Science, 9: 264-266.

Apparently the revision of C. pilata was already considered. From the paper: "Unfortunately, the name Cratena has been frquently misapplied, even by Bergh himself, who included in it various species of cuthonid nudibranchs. The error was compounded by Iredale and O'Donoghue (1923), who misinterpreted Cratena as a synonym of Montagua, Fleming, 1821 with Doris coerulea Montagu, 1804 - a cuthonid- as type. Consequently, Cratena has been considered a cuthonid genus by most subsequent authors. The situation has happily been rectified by Macnae (1954) and the proper generic placement of C. pilata is Cratena, Bergh, 1864 a favorinid, not Cratena (Bergh, 1885; auctt. non Bergh), a cuthonid." (Franz, 1968)

  • Macnae, E (1954) On some eolidacean nudibranchiate molluscs from South Africa. Annals Natal Mus. 23:1-51.
  • Iredale, T. And C. R. O'Donoghue (1923) List of British nudibranchiate mollusca. Proc. Malac. Soc. Lond. 15:195-200.

That's not to say that there's not a later revision that I'm not aware of, of course. I'm just barely getting started to the literature for the West Atlantic.

Tony Fernando

Fernando, A.V., 2006 (Dec 15) Re: Aeolid from New York. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Tony,
Thanks for the reference. What we were saying is that 'Cratena' seems to be the best fit at the moment. The aeolid genera are still in need of some love and attention. For example I lump a lot of genera into the Glaucidae while other workers consider that many of these genera should be separated into the Phidianidae and Facelinidae, and even the Favorinidae.

It was a lot simpler when Gould described the species - at that time most authors placed all aeolids into the genus Aeolis. One of the great values of the binomial [two names] naming system we use for species is that the name reflects the evolutionary relationships of the species. The great drawback is that as out understanding of those relationships change, the names - or at least the first of the two names - often has to change as well.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Dec 15). Comment on Re: Aeolid from New York by Anthony Fernando. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Cratena? pilata

Related messages

  1. Cratena pilata from North Carolina, USA
    From: Tony Fernando, December 4, 2006
  2. Aeolid from New York
    From: Betsey Hansen, July 31, 1999
  3. Re: Aeolid from New York
    From: Terry Gosliner, July 31, 1999

Show factsheet and all related messages