Old slug from Guyana

November 25, 2009
From: Floris Bennema


I am studying species in an 18th century book and ran in to this slug.

It was send to the Dutch author ('in liqour') from Esseqiubo, a Dutch colony in Guyana (South America; West Atlantic)

Locality: Unknown, unknown, Guyana, West Atlantic ocean, 1765, unknown. Length: 3/4 of a thumb (= 2 cm.). Photographer: Martinus Slabber.

According to the author it is a sea slug. In 1970 a Dutch malacologist (van Benthem Jutting) speculated it could be a Umbraculum, but she was doubtful.

Does anyone have an idea?

Floris Bennema


Bennema, F.P., 2009 (Nov 25) Old slug from Guyana. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22808

Dear Floris,

It would be valuable if you could give me the name of the book and author to include with your message.

The first problem is we have no idea just how accurate the artist [or engraver] was. It certainly could be a snail or slug with a limpet-shaped shell and there are indications it could be Umbraculum, but if the frilly row of papillae are suppose to represent the single gill of Umbraculum, then the papillae should run above the head and tentacles in an unbroken row. Also if you look at some of the photos of Umbraculum you will see that the head and 'snout' are not as in this illustration. Another possibility is another limpet-like slug, Tylodina americana. I don't have any photos on the Forum but have a look at Tylodina corticalis which has a head more similar to the illustration.

The other possibility is that it is some type of limpet. I'm afraid I can't easily identify the 3 pairs of tentacles [a,b,c]. Perhaps they are not accurate? Are shells illustrated in the book? I suspect if it had a shell it would have dropped off in the 'preserving jar' and if it didn't dissolve in the 'liqour' perhaps it was dried and drawn separately?

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (Nov 25). Comment on Old slug from Guyana by Floris Bennema. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22808

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