Melibe viridis ? from the Philippines

December 18, 2003
From: Erwin Koehler

Dear Bill,
Attached is a shot of what I think to be Melibe viridis from the Philippines, Negros Oriental Is., Lipayo, divesite "Dauin Sanctuary 1".

In your Fact sheet you write Kelaart placed it in the genus Meliboea, so the name of the author and the year should be in brackets.
length 75mm
depth 14m
date 25 Oct. 2003

Koehler, E., 2003 (Dec 18) Melibe viridis ? from the Philippines. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Erwin,
As I have mentioned before, the identity of some of these species is quite difficult, but I guess M. viridis is the best name for this animal at present. However it seems the rhinophore stalk has a large branch, and the papillae on the back are very large, so it may be another species.

Concerning your comment about Kelaart's use of the name Meliboea instead of Melibe. You are quite correct in suggesting that if Kelaart described the species in a different genus than the one it is now placed in [ie: Meliboea not Melibe] then Kelaart's name and date should be in brackets. However Kelaart was just using a mispelling of Melibe - Meliboea - which was quite commonly used at the time

Henning Lemche (1962) in a submission to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, concerning the name Doto, noted that Forbes 1838 described a species of Doto as Melibaea fragilis. The genus name was often mispelt, even by Forbes in the same publication, as Meliboea. Lemche noted that these were mispellings of Melibe Rang 1829 and proposed that Meliboea Forbes 1838 and Melibaea Forbes 1838 be placed on the Offical Index of Rejected Names. The International Commission accepted this proposal two years later (I.C.Z.N. 1964 -Opinion 697). Basically these 2 spellings have no status in zoological nomenclature so we act as though Kelaart spelt the genus name as Melibe and therefore don't use brackets.

• Forbes, Edward. 1838. Malacologia monensis, a catalogue of the Mollusca inhabiting the Isle of Man and the neighboring sea. pp. i-xii + 1-63, pls. 1-3. [Nudibranchia pp. 3-5, 59, pl. 1].
• I.C.Z.N. 1964. Opinion 697. Doto Oken, 1815 (Gastropoda): validated under the plenary powers. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 21(2): 97-100.
• Lemche, H. M. 1962. Doto Oken, 1815 (Gastropoda): proposed validation under the plenary powers. Z.N.(S.) 1006. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 19: 156-159.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Dec 18). Comment on Melibe viridis ? from the Philippines by Erwin Koehler. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Melibe viridis

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