Kaloplocamus ramosus ? : new for the Bay of Biscay

April 1, 2010
From: Alex Vanhaelen

Dear Dr Rudman,

Hear are some pictures of opisthobranchs collected between 21 October and 12 November 2009 by bottom-trawling in the northern part of the Bay of Biscay (NE-Atlantic, off the French coast) at depths ranging from 133 to 185 meters, offshore the southern Brittany peninsula, along a gross line extending from 45°37'20 N - 3°13'41,70 W to 47°04'13,94 N - 5°11'23,71 W. (EVHOE 2009 cruises).

I have received preserved specimens (in ethanol) and some pictures taken in-vitro of living specimens from one of the on-board biologists (Mrs J. Martin, from IFREMER) and I try to identify them for her.

The joined pictures are :
1) N0817 JM1396-1370 2 living specimens; submerged
2) N0796 PL1247-1249 4 living specimens in the dry
3) N0822 VA-833 preserved; back side + scale
4) N0822 VA-836-837-839 preserved; anterior process, rhinophore, branchial plume
5) N0822 VA-840-842-844 preserved; right side, left side, ventral side

I am not familiar with deep-sea species but, with the help of theseaslugforum, I think it might be Kaloplocamus ramosus (Cantraine, 1835). I would certainly welcome your opinion on this identification, since, if I am correct, this would be, to my knowledge, the first reports of this species for the French Atlantic coast.

Locality: Northern part of the Bay of Biscay, offshore the southern Brittany peninsula, , ranging from 133 to 185 meters, France, NE-Atlantic, Between 21 october and 12 november 2009 , bottom trawling. Length: 20 to 26 mm.. Photographer: several.

In the forum messages #1478 and #13091, you mentioned your interest in examining NE-Atlantic specimens. If you are still interested, I have received the authorization from the collector (Mrs J. Martin) to send you a couple at the adress of your choice.

I thank you very much for your help in this particular case and also for the immense help the forum provides to all interested in Opisthobranchia.

Sincerely yours,

Alex Vanhaelen
Scientific associate (Malacology section) of
the Royal Belgian Insitute for Natural Sciences (RBINS)


Vanhaelen, A., 2010 (Apr 1) Kaloplocamus ramosus ? : new for the Bay of Biscay. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/23167

Dear Alex,

I suspect this is K. ramosus. Apart from the Mediterranean records, there are Atlantic records from Angola (Valles et al, 2000) and the Azores (Valles et al, 2006). Looking at the recent Checklist of Iberian opisthobranchs (Cervera, et al, 2006) This species does not seem to have been reported from the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal so this find from the Bay of Biscay does appear to extend its distribution quite a bit. Of course its anatomy would have to be looked at to be sure. Thanks for the offer of sending specimens, but I think it would be better if you let us know in what institution the specimens are stored so that either I or some other researcher can ask to borrow them when are working on the group.

  • Cervera, J. L., G. Calado, C. Gavaia, M. A. E. Malaquias, J. Templado, M. Ballesteros, J. C. Garcia-Gomez, & C. Megina. 2006. An annotated and updated checklist of the opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from Spain and Portugal (including islands and archipelagos). Boletin Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia 20(1-4):1-122.
  • Valles, Y., Valdes, A. & Ortea, J. (2000) On the phanerobranch dorids of Angola (Mollusca, Nudibranchia): a crossroads of temperate and tropical species. Zoosystema, 22(1): 15-31.
  • Valles, Y. & Gosliner, T. (2006). Shedding Light onto the Genera (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) Kaloplocamus and Plocamopherus with Description of New Species Belonging to These Unique Bioluminescent Dorids. The Veliger 48(3): 178-205.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2010 (Apr 1). Comment on Kaloplocamus ramosus ? : new for the Bay of Biscay by Alex Vanhaelen. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/23167

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