Berthella martensi
(Pilsbry, 1896)

Family: Pleurobranchidae


Tropical Indo-West Pacific


Photos showing colour variation on animals from Okinawa.
#1: Notum 58mm / from 41m; #3: Notum 24mm / from 30m; #5: Notum 25mm & 31mm / from 20m; #7: Photo only, animal not measured / from 8m. PHOTOS: Bob Bolland

This species shows a wide variation in colour, as illustrated here with Bob Bolland's photos. It is characterised by its ability to autotomise (break off) large sections of its mantle when disturbed. The brown ring visible in paler animals marks the breakage point when the animals breaks off its mantle skirt. There is a photo of an autotomised animal elsewhere in the Forum on a page dealing with autotomy.

As with other species of Berthella, this species feeds on sponges. See Clay Bryce's feeding message, and Bob Bolland's feeding photo below.

• Tsubokawa, R. & Bolland, R.F. (1991). Berthella martensi (Pilsbry, 1896), new to the Japanese Notaspidea Fauna. Venus, Japanese Journal of Malacology, 50(3): 184-195.

• Willan, R.C. (1984) The Pleurobranchidae (Opisthobranchia: Notaspidea) of the Marshall Islands, Central-West Pacific Ocean. The Veliger, 27(1): 37-53.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (October 28) Berthella martensi (Pilsbry, 1896). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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