Pleurobranchus atlanticus from Bonaire

November 16, 2009
From: Marianne Ligthart

Dear Bill,

Though we know it does not concern a real seaslug we ask your help for identification!
Diving at Bonaire, at Petries Pillar, we found this little animal creeping on dead coral rubble at a depht of 4 - 5 meters.
At first we were, not succesfully, searching in the direction of Velutinidae and Lamellaridae because we expect a little shell inside. One siphon was clearly visible. Size: 15 - 20 mm.
Behavior: fast and active.
Shape: a bit flat, almost like a flatworm.
We saw one specimen.
There is some resemblance with Pleurobranchus areolatus. But finally we think that is not possible.
We hope you can give us more information!

Locality: Divesite: Petries Pillar. South-westcoast of Bonaire, near Kralendijk., 4 -5 m, Bonaire, Caribbean Sea, 01 March 2009, On dead coral rubble.. Length: 15 - 20 mm. Photographer: Marco Faasse.

With greetings,
Marianne Ligthart

Ligthart, M., 2009 (Nov 16) Pleurobranchus atlanticus from Bonaire. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Marianne,

This is definitely a pleurobranch sea slug. It is the species I am calling Pleurobranchus atlanticus. Although not clear in your photo, some of the tubercles have triangular white patches on them creating the impression that there are pointed white tubercules scattered over the back.

In Caribbean Sea Slugs this species is identified as Pleurobranchus crossei Vayssiere but as I discussed earlier [message #18917], I don't think the authors got their pleurobranchs quite right.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2009 (Nov 16). Comment on Pleurobranchus atlanticus from Bonaire by Marianne Ligthart. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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