March 3, 2001
I was asking for a source for Berghia verrucicornis on another forum and came up with an unusual question. I took my info (and pic) that is shown at the top of the Berghia page on your site and a couple of other people on the other forum came up with different pics.
The link to that page is: http://www.reefs.org/ubb/Forum1/HTML/016538.html
Could someone let us or me know if there are different species of this nudibranch or if there could be some possible "commercial deception" going on? The bottom line is that I am interested in getting a couple of Berghia verrucicornis for my reef tank and don't want to make a mistake.
I would appreciate any help you could provide.
firstname.lastname@example.orgSteven, 2001 (Mar 3) The identity of Berghia verrucicornis. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3775
I have wondered at times whether the animal sold commercially is actually Berghia verrucicornis, the photos I have seen seem to be of a very pale uncoloured animal. I don't think there is any deliberate deception going on and whatever it is it seems to happily eat Aiptasia which is why most aquarium keepers want it. But as I have never seen a specimen of it or a photo which is good enough to use for identification I can't say what it is.
Typical Berghia verrucicornis from the Mediterranean has tubercles on the rhinophores. Typical aspects of their colour pattern include an elongate orange spot in front of the rhinophores on either side of head and sometimes a touch of orange over the pericardium hump, just behind the rhinophores. There is also an orange band below the tip of each of the cerata, and there is usually a bright golden patch on the dorsal side of this orange band. It is possible that without their natural food they become very pale and lack the bright pigments of 'free range' animals.
After receiving Jennifer Whitacre's message a few weeks ago I asked her if she would prepare a page for the Forum with photos, on how they culture B. verrucicornis commercially, which she was more than happy to do. Hopefully in a short while we will have that infomation. In the meantime, if you, or anyone with commercially grown Berghia, has some photos they could send me, they would be interesting to look at.
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