Re: Cerberilla from the Marshall Islands

March 25, 2001
From: Scott Johnson

Hi Bill,
I finally came across another Cerberilla here in the Marshall Islands. I am assuming these are the same as the Cerberilla sp. 3 I sent a while back, although there are a couple of differences. It does not exhibit the black tips of the cephalic tentacles seen in the earlier specimens from Enewetak and Guam. The new specimen also has much more distinct yellow bands above the black ones on the cerata, providing a bit more evidence that it may be C. annulata. This specimen was found in Kwajalein's harbor, crawling on sand at a depth of about 1 meter. It measured about 20mm, a bit over half the length of the Cerberilla sp. 3 sent earlier.

Johnson, S., 2001 (Mar 25) Re: Cerberilla from the Marshall Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Scott,
Thanks for the beautiful photos. It certainly looks like C. annulata and suggests that your earlier animal, which I called Cerberilla sp. 3 may have been a variant with very faded yellow markings. The black-tipped rhinophores and oral tentacles in Cerberilla sp. 3 are apparently variable because in Clay Carlson's message the Guam animal seems to lack black-tipped rhinophores. You are probably right in suggesting they are all colour forms of C. annulata but as I said earlier, it is easier to amalgamate them when we are sure, than separate them if we find they are indeed different.

I must say that the length of the oral tentacles shown in your photos are amazing. Considering the reduced size of the rhinophores, it suggests that using the oral tentacles for touch, is more important in locating prey than using the chemosensory abilities of the rhinophores.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Mar 25). Comment on Re: Cerberilla from the Marshall Islands by Scott Johnson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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