More on Cuthona lagunae

July 13, 2000
From: Jeff Goddard

Hi Bill,

With regard to your question about observing similar polar bodies in other species of aeolids, I have examined the early development of about 100 species of northeast Pacific opisthobranchs, including 11 species of Tergipididae. Cuthona lagunae is the only one to possess large, yolk filled polar bodies. All the other species have minute, mostly clear polar bodies, usually two in number. Also, shortly before his death, Tom Thompson wrote me saying that he had never seen polar bodies in any organism similar to those found in Cuthona lagunae. It was largely owing to Tom's remarks and words of encouragement that I wrote that paper on Cuthona lagunae.

Earlier this year I was able to observe the embryonic development of Cuthona lagunae collected from Santa Barbara County, California. The eggs and polar bodies produced by these specimens were virtually identical in size and yolk content to those I had previously observed from northern California.

In the upper of Clinton's photos, the hydroid I usually find them associated with, Sertularella, is visible as the darker brown, relatively thick growths with short alternate branches (actually the hydrothecae, or coverings of the polyps) extending above the tail of the slug. It is also visible in this photo as the brown, largely out of focus, stalks in the bottom left.

Best wishes,

Goddard, J., 2000 (Jul 13) More on Cuthona lagunae. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Cuthona lagunae

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