The use of the name Bullomorpha

October 26, 2000
From: Juan Lucas Cervera

Dear Bill,
Could someone tell me if the term "Bullomorpha" was first used by Pelseneer in 1906?

After Pelseneer, was Thompson again (1976) the next to use this term?
Thanks for your help.

Cervera, J.L., 2000 (Oct 26) The use of the name Bullomorpha. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lucas,
Pelseneer introduced the terms Bullomorpha, Aplysiomorpha and Pleurobranchomorpha in 1906.

Unfortunately as names above the Family level are not covered by the International Rules, what names we should use are a bit problematical. I decided to use Pelseneer's names in my work because of the confusion of Cephalaspidea, Anaspidea and Notaspidea with identical names for fossil fish. I think my first published use of Bullomorpha was in 1971, a few years before Tom Thompson. Now that you ask, I am not sure if anyone used the term between me and Pelseneer.

I fully agreed with Thompson's (1976) use of the names Bullomorpha, Aplysiomorpha and Pleurobranchomorpha. The reason I don't still use the names is that in the preparation of Mollusca, The Southern Synthesis, the editors rightly wanted consistency throughout the volumes, some, like me, were using Bullomorpha, and others were using Cephalaspidea. It was agreed that the oldest names - Cephalaspidea etc should be used. So after agreeing to it in the book it would have been silly of me to use my preferred term Bullomorpha elsewhere. So for uniformity, I am now a Cephalaspidea user.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Reference: Rudman, W.B. (1971) Structure and function of the gut in the Bullomorpha (Opisthobranchia). Part 1 Herbivores. Journal of Natural History, 5: 647-675.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Oct 26). Comment on The use of the name Bullomorpha by Juan Lucas Cervera. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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