In France 'Sea Slug' = nudibranch?

May 28, 2002
From: Marina Poddubetskaia

Dear Bill,
As promised, here is the URL of my site Nembro which has recently come on line

I have had remarks concerning the 'sea slug' appellation. It seems that in France we can't call all opisthobranchs 'sea slugs'. Here, sea slug = nudibranch and nothing else. Is it the same in Australia? And now, I don't know how to call other orders of opisthobranchs…

Thanks again for your help.
Best wishes

Poddubetskaia, M., 2002 (May 28) In France 'Sea Slug' = nudibranch?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Marina,
Congratulations on your site. Concerning the word 'Sea Slug'. I guess its the continuing problem with common names. I suspect whoever is giving you advice doesn't really know what they are talking about. 'Sea Slug' is a very broad term encompassing all opisthobranch molluscs and unfortunately sometimes some non-mollusc animals such as Holothurians. My feeling was that 'limace de mer' had the same wide meaning in French as 'Sea Slug' has in English so I did a quick web search in and quickly confirmed this view. Although 'limace de mer' is used for nudibranchs, as in English, it is also used for Sea Hares [also = Lièvre de mer, Aplysie, Pisse-Vinaigre] and sacoglossans.

For example, on the website of The Natural History Museum, Paris, 'Limace de mer' is used as a synonym of 'l'aplysie' [].
And on another site about the pest alga Caulerpa taxifolia in the Mediterranean, 'limace de mer' is used for the sacoglossan Elysia. [].

My advice is to use limace de mer = sea slug = Opisthobranchia. People who tell you otherwise are just wrong.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (May 28). Comment on In France 'Sea Slug' = nudibranch? by Marina Poddubetskaia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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