Caribbean identifications

September 2, 1999
From: Anne DuPont

Dear Bill,

Thanks so much for posting the nudibranchs on your site. It was great to read the response.

Here are the names of three books I find useful. One problem however is how different books use different scientific names.

Reef Creature Identification, Florida-Caribbean-Bahamas
by Paul Humann
Edited by Ned Deloach
Fourth Printing, 1996
ISBN 1-878348-01-9
Published by New World Publications and
Printed by Paramount Miller Graphics, in Jacksonville, Fl.

Paul's book is the best ID book for Atlantic and Caribbean nudibranchs. He has over 30 nudibranchs identified. Here is a scan of a page to show how it is arranged.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Seashore Creatures
by Norman A. Meinkoth, Professor Emeritus of Zoology, Swarthmore College
ISBN # 0-394-51993-0
published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

I also like to use this book. It has over 30 Nudibranch and flatworms in it. I recommend it highly to you and you probably can get it fromn It has good color plates.

Marine Life, Caribbean-Bahamas-Florida
by Marty Snyderman & Clay Wiseman, ISBN
1-881652-06-8, by Aqua Quest Publications, NY.

His book is good for a variety of Carribbean Identifications but he only has 2 nudibranchs photos in his book.


DuPont, A., 1999 (Sep 2) Caribbean identifications. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Anne,
Thanks for the information on these books. hopefully it will be helpful for Phanor and anyone else unfamiliar with the fauna.

Lack of consistency with names is a problem with most nudibranch faunas around the world. There are two problems. Firstly as we get a better idea of the evolutionary relationships between animals we often need to rearrange the way we group species into genera and families. The first word in a scientific name, (the genus name) indicates which other species we think are most closely related. For example species of Chromodoris are considered more closely related to each other than they are to species of Hypselodoris, another genus in the Family Chromodorididae. So name changes can be a sign that someone is at last studying a particular group of nudibranchs.

Unfortunately name changes, or different names in different books, can also mean that the authors haven't a clue what they are doing. Colour photography and cheap colour printing has progressed much more quickly than knowledge of opisthobranchs. The Sea Slug Forum isn't planning to replace books, but it is a good place to test identifications you are not sure of. As you have seen, with the help of all participants, we have a pretty good record at putting a name on most photos that appear on the Forum.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Sep 2). Comment on Caribbean identifications by Anne DuPont. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from



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