Opisthobranchs from Durban, South Africa

March 13, 1999
From: Ernest Seamark

I have for the past 3 years been collecting and photographing Opisthobranchs from Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. At a site about 1km south of Durban Harbour mouth. I'm an education officer and the learners who I teach on the ecology of the rocky shore (inter-tidal zone)regularly pick up strange opisthobranchs, amongst other creatures.
I have collected about 55 different species of opisthobranchs, but have only been able to ID about 27, using Gosliner's key on the Nudibranchs of Southern Africa. I have found that his key is not conclusive as many of the specimens that I have are not found in the book. Using this web site I have just ID Pleurobranchus forskalii (Ruppell & Leuckart, 1828) or one that is very similar from Southern Africa and I believe this is a new distribution of this species.

This is a long message, but if you are intrested in material or I can try and digitize my slides using a camera and send them to you. The specimens are to be lodged with the Natal Museum (Dr Dai Herbert), I'm in the process of handing them in.

The email is a friends so I may take some time to answer normally about a week that is if I'm not in the field as my other study area are bats.

Ernest C.J. Seamark


Seamark, E.C.J., 1999 (Mar 13) Opisthobranchs from Durban, South Africa . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/674

Dear Ernest,
I am not sure if Pleurobranchus forskalii has been reported from South Africa before but MacNae (1962) reported the dark form from Inhaca Bay, Mozambique. Like the New South Wales coast of eastern Australia, the northeastern coast of South Africa must get a regular influx of more tropical species courtesy of the southward, if irregular movement of coastal currents.

If you have have photos of other species I would be happy to put them on the Forum. With the help of Terry Gosliner, I am sure we would be able to help you out and also provide information for other people interested in your fauna. If scanning is a problem, if you post the slides to me I can scan them here and return them to you.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Mar 13). Comment on Opisthobranchs from Durban, South Africa by Ernest Seamark. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/674

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