Cerberilla tanna? from Florida

May 6, 2003
From: Jeff Hutchinson

Dear Dr. Rudman,
I am sending you two photos of a
Cerberilla sp. from Florida that I took yesterday morning. This nudibranch was found on a sandy bottom during the day. A fast mover with rhinophores sweeping the bottom ahead, this nudibranch was observed to suddenly stop and then proceed to bury itself into the sand. Specimen was approx. 3/4 " when fully extended. After many years of diving in the area, this was a first sighting. Only reference that matches specimen was found in Humann's Reef Creature Guide.

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Depth: 15 feet. Size: Approx. 3/4 inch April 30, 2003. Photographed by: Jeff Hutchinson

Can you identify it?
Thank you very much

Jeff Hutchinson
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, USA


Hutchinson, J. , 2003 (May 6) Cerberilla tanna? from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/9858

Dear Jeff,
This is a very interesting find. I only know of one speies of Cerberilla being reported from the Caribbean region and that is Cerberilla tanna. Unfortunately, like many of the species described by the Marcuses, it was desribed from a preserved specimen so we have no information on its living colour. Anatomically species of Cerberilla are quite similar to each other, bbut it might be poossible to match their description of the shape of the radular teeth. Your animal has a very impressive colour pattern. Species of Cerberilla are probably much more common than we think, but because they spend most of their time buried in soft sediments, such as sand, we don't often see them. I guess we can call your animal Cerberilla cf. tanna until the radula of a known live animal an be matched with the original description.

It is possible that Linda Ianello's animal from the same location is a juvenile, but we would need an animal intermediate in colour before we could confidently say so. My copy of Paul Humann's book doesn't have a Cerberilla in it, so I would be interested to know what he says, and what his animal looks like. Thanks again for a very interesting find.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (May 6). Comment on Cerberilla tanna? from Florida by Jeff Hutchinson . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/9858


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