Re: photo of Lobiger cf. souverbii

November 9, 2001
From: Nishina Masayoshi

Dear Rudman,
I have not seen the original description of Lobiger souverbii by Fischer, 1856 so I did not know that L. souverbii lives found in Caribbean sea. I agree with your opinion that it is difficult to think that Caribbean animal lives in Japan.

There are two photos in Ono's book (page 37) labelled Lobiger souverbii and Lobiger viridis. It doesn't seem that they are the same. I thought that the animal identified in the the book as L. souverbii is indeed that species. As far as I know, everybody in Japan believes so. Nobody doubts it.

So I tried to check it again in Baba's book "Opisthobranchia of Sagami Bay supplement" (1955) again. In that, there is a similar animal called Lobiger sagamiensis. I felt that the shape and features of L. sagamiensis is rather say close to the L. viridis. Then, what is the animal of the photo which I sent? May it more important than I thought. I wonder what L. souverbii looks a like ....? Who described my animal as L. souverbii in Japan? I tried to get anything about L. sagamiensis
with an internet search but I've got nothing. Is L. sagamiensis a valid name still? Don't you think that the features of L. sagamiensis and the features of the L. viridis look alike?
The animal identified as L. souverbii in the book Nudibranchs of Heron Island, GBR [Fig 31] and my animal look the almost same
Best Regards,
Nishina Masayoshi

Nishina, M., 2001 (Nov 9) Re: photo of Lobiger cf. souverbii. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Nishina,
The use of names for species of Lobiger in the Indo-West Pacific is certainly a bit of a mess. Kathe Jensen's recent message and my comments answer some of your questions but it s probably easier to go through the main points again.

I think it was Kay (1964) who first started identifying Indo-West Pacific animals as Lobiger souverbii. From specimens she examined in Hawaii she considered Pease's Lobiger viridis from Tahiti and Lobiger nevilli, from Ceylon, to be synonyms of the Caribbean species. I discuss Pease's description and L. nevilli in a separate message. From her photo it seems that the Hawaiian animals had enrolled secondary branches on the parapodial flaps.

I have been unable to find a good photo of the Caribbean species, Lobiger souverbii but its seems to differ from Indo-West Pacific animals in having crenulations, or little bumps, along the edge of the parapodial flaps rather than branches. If anyone has photos of Caribbean Lobiger they would be very welcome.

Now to Lobiger sagamiensis. Baba (1952, 1955) was apparently unaware of the name L. viridis when he described L. sagamiensis from a single specimen. In 1974 he re-examines the species, based on more material, and follows Kay in identifying it with L. souverbii. Kathe Jensen (1985) [see recent message] studied animals from Hong Kong, and on the basis of her knowledge of Caribbean animals, decided they were sufficiently different anatomically to be considered a separate species. She identified them with Baba's Japanese material and so decide to resurrect the name Lobiger sagamiensis. My feeling is that L. sagamiensis and Lobiger viridis are the same species.

The one internal anatomical feature which seems to have been considered significant is the prsence or absence of fine denticles on the radular teeth. In some there are denticles only on the oldest [and smallest] teeth and in others they are present on most of the teeth. I suspect a lot more radula will need to be examined before the value of that character can be judged.

As to how many species there are in Japan. I suspect both the animals in Ono's book are the same species. The degree of secondary branching of the parapodial flaps is quite variable. Certainly in juveniles the secondary branches appear just as 'buds' along the edge of the parapodial flap. These animals often drop and regrow the parapodial flaps. It is possible that regrown flaps do not have as extensive branching as the original flaps. We have much still to learn about these animals. Clearly the radula of 'Lobiger viridis' needs to be re-examined, but in the mean time I think we may as well use that name for all Indo-West Pacific Lobiger. See separate page for relevant references on Lobiger.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Nov 9). Comment on Re: photo of Lobiger cf. souverbii by Nishina Masayoshi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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