Berthellina citrina
(Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828)

Family: Pleurobranchidae


Common throughout the tropical and sub-tropical Indo-West Pacific, found even in northern New Zealand.


UPPER: Colour variation - Fumba, Zanzibar, Tanzania, July 1971.
LOWER: Anterior end showing rolled rhinophoral head tentacles and the triangular oral veil. Note the ventral groove that can be seen along the edge of the veil. Koumac, New Caledonia, October 1993. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

Berthellina citrina is a common pleurobranch found throughout the Indo-West Pacific and adjacent temperate waters. It often has a small flat shell remnant hidden in the mantle skin above the digestive gland and ranges in colour from a pale translucent yellow through to a bright red. The back is covered in small white gland cells which secrete a milky white defensive secretion.

Berthellina citrina is normally found feeding on a variety of sponges, but Scott Johnson has reported it feeding on the three species of coral: Tubastrea coccinea, Leptastrea sp. and Porites lobata, in Hawaii.

• Willan, R.C. (1984). A review of diets in the Notaspidea (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia). Journal of the Malacological Society of Australia, 6: 125-142.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (March 9) Berthellina citrina (Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Berthellina citrina from New Zealand
    From: Graham Bould, August 27, 2009
  2. Orange slug-like species from Sydney, Australia
    From: Roland Bircher, May 15, 2009
  3. Berthellina citrina from the Red Sea
    From: Lior Harari, August 14, 2007
  4. Re: Berthellina citrina from Reunion island
    From: Hugues Flodrops, June 8, 2007
  5. Berthellina citrina from the Gulf of Kutch, India
    From: Arpit Deomurari, July 29, 2006
  6. Berthellina citrina from Reunion island
    From: Philibert Bidgrain, February 12, 2005
  7. Re: Coral-feeding Berthellina
    From: Steven Garcia, February 4, 2004
  8. Coral-feeding Berthellina
    From: Steven Garcia, February 3, 2004
  9. Berthellina citrina from sthn Queensland
    From: Gary Cobb, December 18, 2003
  10. Berthellina citrina - Dent rock, Jervis Bay
    From: Sue Newson, November 12, 2003
  11. Berthellina citrina eggs
    From: Kirsten Benkendorff, April 8, 2003
  12. Berthellina citrina egg mass? from Lord Howe Island
    From: Ian Hutton, January 14, 2003
  13. Berthellina citrina from Reunion Island
    From: Marina Poddubetskaia, November 12, 2002
  14. What sort of slug is it?
    From: Chris, November 30, 2001
  15. Feeding observations on Berthellina citrina
    From: Scott Johnson, December 13, 2000
  16. Feeding in Berthellina citrina (2)
    From: Scott Johnson, December 13, 2000
  17. Berthellina citrina from southern New South Wales
    From: Dave Harasti, January 26, 2000

Show factsheet and all related messages