Pleurobranchus from Cyclades, Aegean Sea

November 13, 2007
From: Manolis Mpardanis

I saw two specimens of Pleurobranchus  at Panormos, Naxos Island, Aegean Sea in July 2005.

Other encounters I have recorded for the same species in the same area include August 2004 at 35 m (two specimens mating, colours rather yellowish) and July 2006 at 8 m (one specimen, yellowish-green in colour with clear white rings around the tubercules).

Locality: Naxos Island, 50m, Greece, Aegean Sea, Mediterranean, 11 July 2005, Muddy with Caulerpa racemosa. Length: 20-22 cm. Photographer: Manolis Mpardanis.

Is this indeed the typical mediterranean species Pleurobranchus testudinarius? Do you believe there is any chance it could be feeding on Caulerpa racemosa or is this just a random stroll on the sea bottom?

Thank you in advance.
 Manolis Mpardanis.

Mpardanis, M., 2007 (Nov 13) Pleurobranchus from Cyclades, Aegean Sea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Manolis,

Yes this is Pleurobranchus testudinarius. The rings around the base of the tubercles varies from pink to white. All pleurobranchs are carnivorous so it would mean a major change in its physiology for it to be able to eat and digest plant material. As you suggest, its walk across the Caulerpa beds is just a random stroll.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Nov 13). Comment on Pleurobranchus from Cyclades, Aegean Sea by Manolis Mpardanis. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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