Common names for nudibranchs

June 14, 2000
From: Valda Fraser

Dear Bill
I would like you to comment on common names for nudibranchs.  I have only 2 books where common names are given in addition to scientific names.  I also notice that the common names given do not always correspond.  Is there a list of common names registered somewhere, or do the authors merely make them up themselves?

Fraser, V., 2000 (Jun 14) Common names for nudibranchs. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Valda,
Common names are a problem because they are seldom in common use. As you suspect they are often made up by authors often under pressure from publishers. The whole point of scientific names, and the Rules that govern their formation and use, was to overcome the problem of common names, and provide a universal dictionary of species names.

Because I am often commenting on the use of 'common names' I have made a special page for any discussion on common names.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jun 14). Comment on Common names for nudibranchs by Valda Fraser. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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