Ercolania funerea from the Black Sea

November 7, 2002
From: Alex. Kurakin

Note: Ercolania funerea Costa 1867 is a junior synonym of Ercolania viridis Costa, 1866. All messages have been moved to that species page. See discussion - 7 June 2003.

Dear Bill & Kathe,
Thanks very much for the answer to my letter. Here are some details which may be of interest. Unfortunately the colour in the images has become a little distorted. The actual colour is as in the appended picture

It was first found during an expedition of the Odessa branch of Institute of Biology of the southern seas in October, 2001 in a water area of the Odessa port. It was living in a tangle of algae which was determined as Chaetomorpha aerea (Dillw) Kutz. In aquarium conditions we observed the animal feeding on it. Length of the body of mollusc is about 12 mms. The depth of habitation is about 5 m, and is apparently determined by the tangle of algae. In 2001 only a the single exemple was found, but in September, 2002 in the same place a large population was found (on visual estimates about 20-25 animals per square meter). On the algae were many eggs, and many of the slugs were young [small size with translucent cerata].

Perhaps, we have observed the development of a pioneer population of a mollusc on a new habita. I would be grateful if you could send me more information about Ercolania funerea & E. nigra (morphology, ecology, bibliography).
Best wishes,
Alexander Kurakin

Kurakin, A., 2002 (Nov 7) Ercolania funerea from the Black Sea. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Alex,
Thanks for the colour information. I can certainly see a reddish-purple tinge in your photos. Perhaps if you could send me a colour photo by mail, with the correct colours, I could make sure the correct colour appears on the Forum. If anyone has photos of Ercolania funerea and/or E. nigra they would be a useful addition to the Forum as I am unable to find any publication with photos of either species.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman


Ercolania viridis

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