Re: Berthellina engeli? from Florida

September 25, 2002
From: Juan Lucas Cervera.

Dear Linda and Bill,
According to the data from Terry Gosliner and my research, the Berthellina species from the Caribbean Sea is Berthellina quadridens (Morch, 1867).

Berthellina engeli was erected by Gardiner (1936) for specimens from southern England, and that also led him to describe the genus Berthellina. Those specimens were early identified as belonging to Berthella plumula (non B. plumula Montagu) by Engel (1934). The description of this material only supplied data of the shell, radula and jaws (no data on the reproductive system). However, only the shells of this material are avalilable at the Oxford University Museum, and to distinguish Atlantic spp of this genus only by the shell is impossible.

According to Tom Thompson (pers. comm.) the last British material of Berthellina collected was Gardiner's. On the other hand, Vayssiere (1896) erected the species Berthellina edwardsi (as Berthella) with material from Azores and Cape Verde Archipelago. He described briefly the shell of this species, but a detailed description was supplied in Vayssiere (1898) from Azores' material.

So, what is the correct identity of the British material, the so called Berthellina engeli? Is it B. edwardsi? or B. quadridens? Terry and I think that probably belongs to B. edwardsi, but we cannot be sure until further British material is available. Moreover, we think the European specimens belongs to B. edwardsi. So, I hope all this will clarify the present situation.

Cervera, J.L., 2002 (Sep 25) Re: Berthellina engeli? from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Lucas,
It certainly a step forward in sorting out the Berthellina problems. I guess at the moment you are considering the East Pacific animals to be B. quadridens as well?
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

2002 (Sep 25). Comment on Re: Berthellina engeli? from Florida by Juan Lucas Cervera.. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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