Pleurobranchus from southern California

January 20, 2001
From: Brianne Berlin

This critter was found in 35 feet of water over rocky / rubble substrate
Temp.= 55 F
Catalina Island, southern California.

I have never seen anything like it. Any info would be helpful.
Thank you

Berlin, B., 2001 (Jan 20) Pleurobranchus from southern California. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Brianne,
This is really one for the Californian crowd to comment on but I think it is Pleurobranchus areolatus, a relatively large pleurobranch, growing to about 15cm, which is found in the Caribbean and on the Pacific coast of central America. I didn't know it was found as far north as California.

Pleurobranchus areolatus is one of those interesting species with populations on both sides of the Panama Isthmus which have been separated from each other since the isthmus formed in the Tertiary. You will see a photo of an animal from the Caribbean coast of Bolivia in an earlier message from Phanor Montoya.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Jan 20). Comment on Pleurobranchus from southern California by Brianne Berlin. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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