Re: Another record of Polycera chilluna from South Carolina

July 13, 2007
From: Tony Fernando

Concerning message #19963:

Hi Dr. Rudman,
As best as I can tell, Mr. Ricker's photograph off South Carolina is a first record for Polycera chilluna in South Carolina. The specimen collected by Dr. Wells and described by Marcus in 1961 is identified as having been collected in Beaufort, North Carolina, and the specimens found by Ms. Smith (messages #10789 and #10981) were on wrecks offshore from Morehead City, NC which is colocated with Beaufort. However, the Beaufort-Morehead City area is south of Cape Hatteras, and it shouldn't be of any particular surprise that a species found there would also be present in South Carolina waters, especially the northern section that includes Myrtle Beach. (There is some dispute on political boundaries, but Hatteras is always a North/South boundary for distributions regardless of which author you use ...) At the same time, Morehead City is North Carolina's second largest deepwater port, while it's certainly possible for all of the P. chilluna records in the Morehead City area to be ballast water transplants from Africa, the presence of specimens over 100 nm southward suggests (to me as an amateur anyways) a population extant in the range from Cape Lookout, NC to Myrtle, SC (at least).

Although a can't argue much with your comment  "We know almost nothing about the nudibranchs of South Carolina ..." there are two good references on South Carolina- Eyster's 1980 survey of North Inlet estuary (which I found very readable), and Fox and Ruppert's Shallow Water Marine Benthic Mactoinvertebrates of South Carolina.

Eyster listed the following nudibranchs and scoglossans occuring in South Carolina:
Elysia chlorotica
Ercolania fuscata

Anisodoris prea
Peltodoris greeleyi
Polycera hummi
Polycerella emertoni
Okenia impexa
Ancula evelinae
Doridella obscura
(= Corambe obscura )
Dendrodoris warta
Doriopsilla pharpa
Armina tigrina
Tenellia pallida
(=T. adspersa, (see Thompson and Brown, 1984))
Learchis poica
Cratena pilata
Dondice occidentalis
Godiva rubrolineata
Spurilla neapolitana

Berghia benteva (possibly Baeolidia? or Anteaeolidiella? )
Berghia verrucicornis (from description probably not A. stephanieae )

Fox and Ruppert add:
Aplysia brasiliana
Berghia coerulescens
Cuthona perca
Doris verruscosa

Fiona pinnata
Miesea evelinae
Okenia sapelona

Placida dendritica
Scyllaea pelagica
Thecacera pennigera
Tritonia bayeri

  • Eyster, L.S. (1980) Distribution and Reproduction of Shell-Less Opisthobranchs from South Carolina. Bulletein of Marine Science, 30(3):580-599.
  • Fox, R. S. and Ruppert E. E. (1985) Shallow-Water Marine Benthic Macroinvertebrates of South Carolina, Species Identification, Community Composition and Symbiotic Associations. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
  • Marcus, Er. (1961) Opisthobranchia from North Carolina. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, 77(2): 141-151
  • Thompson, T.E. and Brown, G.H. (1984) Biology of opisthobranch molluscs Vol. II. London: The Ray Society.

Tony Fernando

Fernando, A. V., 2007 (Jul 13) Re: Another record of Polycera chilluna from South Carolina. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Tony,

Any further information you can provide on the opisthobranchs of the east coast of Nth America would be very welcome.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Jul 13). Comment on Re: Another record of Polycera chilluna from South Carolina by Tony Fernando. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Another record of Polycera chilluna from South Carolina
    From: Brian Ricker, June 1, 2007
  2. Another report of Polycera chilluna
    From: Sandy Smith, September 17, 2003
  3. Polycera chilluna - egg mass & feeding
    From: Sandy Smith, September 17, 2003
  4. Polycera chilluna from North Carolina
    From: Sandy Smith, August 20, 2003
  5. Polycera chilluna & P. aurantiomarginata
    From: Bill Rudman, August 20, 2003

Show factsheet and all related messages