Pleurobranchus synonyms in South Africa

June 17, 2000
From: Ernest C.J. Seamark

I've been reading Macnae (1962) paper on Inhaca Island. I'm a bit confused as to which species he found is Pleurobranchus forskalii. He identifies a P. perrieri Vayssiere 1896, but does not describe the species only gives the reference to Vayssiere (1896), 126, pl. 4, 2-4, (1898), 321, pl. 13, 9, pl. 23, 127-134, pl. 26, 178. I have been unable to get hold of this reference, so as to confirm if this may be P. forskalii. Or is it P. inhacae Macnae 1962, where the description is similar but I would have thought more reference would have been given to the nodules on the mantle.

Ernest C.J. Seamark

Seamark, E.C.J., 2000 (Jun 17) Pleurobranchus synonyms in South Africa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Ernest,
Pleurobranchus perrieri is the name Vayssiere gave to the dark purple form of P. forskalii.

The other two species Macnae mentions:
Pleurobranchus inhacae Macnae, 1962a: 174-176, Fig.5., Gosliner, 1987a: 58, Fig.58.
Pleurobranchus xhosa Macnae, 1962a: 176- 177, Fig.6., Gosliner, 1987a: 59, Fig.61.

are I think, both juveniles of P. peroni. Certainly in eastern Australia and Tanzania I have found considerable colour variation among juveniles. MacNae mentions a much smaller prostate gland in P. inhacae than in P. peroni. This can be explained if they are juveniles.

The reference Ernest is referring to is:
Macnae, W. (1962) Notaspidean Opisthobranchiate Mollusca from South Africa. Annals of the Natal Museum, 15(15): 167-181.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jun 17). Comment on Pleurobranchus synonyms in South Africa by Ernest C.J. Seamark. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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