Cuthona speciosa
(Macnae, 1954)

Family: Tergipedidae


South Africa


In the deeper intertidal pools (50cm deep) at Marsh Strand, near Haga-Haga, Eastern Cape, South Africa. L: 9 mm. Photos: Lindsay Warren.

Body, rhinophores and oral tentacles all translucent yellow orange, sometimes with pinkish speckling on the head tentacles. The digestive gland duct is a dark greenish colour but this is obscured by the colour of the ceratal wall which is usually a bright milky blue. The tip of each ceras is usually bright yellow and there is a gap between the yellow cap and the blue region through which the dark greenish digestive gland is visible. Gosliner & Griffiths (1981) report a lilac colour form in which the ceratal wall is lilac, rather than blue, and the ceratal tip is white rather than yellow. They note that it feeds on the calyptoblastic hydroid Sertularella. According to Gosliner, (1987), it has only been found in the south of South Africa, from Oudekraal on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula to Port Elizabeth.

• Gosliner, T.M. & Griffiths, R.J. (1981) Description and revision of some South African aeolidacean Nudibranchia (Mollusca, Gastropoda). Annals of the South African Museum, 84(2): 105-150.
• Gosliner, T.M. (1987) Nudibranchs of Southern Africa, a guide to the Opisthobranchs of southern Africa. Sea Challengers, Monterey. 136pp.
• Macnae, W. (1954) On some eolidiacean nudibranchiate molluscs from South Africa. Annals of the Natal Museum, 13: 1-50.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (July 24) Cuthona speciosa (Macnae, 1954) . [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Related messages

  1. Cuthona speciosa? from False Bay, Sth Africa
    From: Georgina Jones, June 11, 2007
  2. Cuthona speciosa from South Africa
    From: Lindsay Warren, July 26, 2002

Show factsheet and all related messages