Berghia verrucicornis from France

March 8, 2001
From: Michel Barrabés

I found a wild nudi I identified as Berghia verrucicornis at Arcachon France, on 23/12/2000. It was 8 to 10 mm long, stuck on a tail fin of Syngnathe [fish], at 3 m. depth on a broken shell bottom.

I took pictures, but badly lit. It is white, with orange rings at the tip of ceratas. So, its body looks like this of Eubranchus farrani on the Picton's book cover. Its rhinophores seem lamellate and orange coloured, with white tip. I'll soon post the picture on Koehler's site.

Another question : Is the correct name Berghia verrucicornis or Spurilla verrucicornis?

Barrabés, M., 2001 (Mar 8) Berghia verrucicornis from France. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Michel,
Your photo reminded me of an old colour plate which I reproduce alongside from Trinchese (1881 - Plate 1). Trinchese identified it as Berghia coerulescens - a misidentification which led to confusion between the two species for over 100 years.

Trinchese, S (1881) Aeolididae e famiglie affini del Porto di Genova. Part 2. Anatomia, Fisiologia, Embriologia delle Phyllobranchidae, Hermaeidae, Aeolididae, Proctonotidae, Dotonidae del Porto di Genova. Memorie della Classe di scienze fisiche, matematiche e naturali, serie 3, 11(4 January): 1-142, Pls 1-80.

Concerning your question about whether Berghia or Spurilla is the correct genus name. Have a look at an earlier message where I discuss this very question. One of the characters separating the two genera are the rhinophores, papillate in Berghia and lamellate in Spurilla. In 'Berghia' verrucicornis, as you can see in Trinchese's plate the sides of the rhinophore clubs are lamellate, while posteriorly the rhinophore club is papillate.

I'm sorry I can't say which name is 'correct', as we 'scientists' are still considering the question.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.,B., 2001 (Mar 8). Comment on Berghia verrucicornis from France by Michel Barrabés. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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