Berthella strongi from southern California

April 10, 2002
From: Jeff Goddard

Hi Bill,
In response to a question on the Forum last month about Berthella strongi, I have enclosed a photo of a Berthella strongi (MacFarland, 1966) that I found under an intertidal cobble at Bird Rock, La Jolla, California in June 2000. The specimen was about 11 mm long.

This species generally ranges from Moss Beach, central California (Bertsch et al., 1972) to Punta Rosarito, Baja California (Goddard & Schickel, 2000). However, Behrens (1998) reported a specimen found by Mike Miller off of Nanaimo, British Columbia. This latter record may have been an anomalous range extension associated with the 1997-1998 El Nino event. I don't have any information on the diet of this species.

I have also included a photo of the egg mass of Berthella strongi. It was laid by a specimen collected at Punta Rosarito in May 2001. Planktotrophic veliger larvae hatched after 8 days at 18 degrees C. Like other members of the order, the larvae hatched with eyespots and a deeply pigmented mantle organ, but without an operculum. The lack of an operculum during ontogeny is rare among benthic opisthobranchs with indirect development and is known only in the pleurobranchacean notaspideans and dorid nudibranchs in the genus Aegires (Goddard, 2001).

• Behrens, D. W. (1998) Locality data: Berthella strongi (MacFarland, 1966). Opisthobranch Newsletter 24:30
• Bertsch, H., T. Gosliner, R. Wharton & G. Williams (1972) Natural history and occurrence of opisthobranch gastropods from the open coast of San Mateo County, California. The Veliger, 14: 302-314.
• Goddard, J. H. R. (2001) The early veliger larvae of Aegires albopunctatus (Nudibranchia: Notodorididae), with morphological comparisons to members of the Notaspidea. The Veliger, 44: 398-400.
• Goddard, J. H. R. & E. Schickel (2000) Range extensions of six opisthobranchs to Punta Rosarito, Baja California. Opisthobranch Newsletter, 26: 21-22.

Jeff Goddard

Goddard, J., 2002 (Apr 10) Berthella strongi from southern California. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Jeff,
Its good to be able to fill the gap. It looks from Steve Gardner's photo that the egg mass of Berthella californica is wider and flatter than that of B. strongi.
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Apr 10). Comment on Berthella strongi from southern California by Jeff Goddard. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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