Florida Keys, August, 2001 on a night dive. Depth: approx 35 feet; animal approx 1.5 inches long. Photo: Linda Ianniello.
This genus is in need of revision. Most, but not all, publications give the name Berthellina engeli to the orange Berthellina from the east Pacific and the Atlantic. See Lucas Cervera's message suggesting that Berthellina quadridens is the correct name for Caribbean specimens, and second message suggesting that east Pacific animals were B. ilisima.
• Mörch, O.A.L. (1863). Contributions a la Faune malacologique des Antilles danoises. Journal de Conchyliologie, 11: 21-43
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (December 29) Berthellina quadridens (Morch, 1863).. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/bertquad
November 29, 2005
From: Les Wilk
To add to your Caribbean collection here are some photos of Berthellina quadridens. These shots were taken on a night dive in Bonaire several years a go.
Locality: Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean. Depth: 30 feet. Length: 1-2 inches. July 2001. coral heads. Photographer: Keri Wilk
firstname.lastname@example.orgWilk, L., 2005 (Nov 29) Berthellina quadridens from Bonaire. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/15365
This colour range from pale yellow to reddish oranage is found in other species of the genus as well. It would be interesting to know if it is diet related. The animal we call B. citrina in the south west Pacific is usually almost colourless as a juvenile picking up the yellow and orange colour as it grows.
October 6, 2003
From: Ross W. Gunderson
Here is another sea slug from Jamaica. As I said in my first message, all specimens were collected from St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, West Indies. Photo: R. Gundersen.
Here is Berthellina quadridens. 3 cm. Found under coral rock on back reef at 1m depth. Upper surface smooth.
email@example.comGundersen, R.W., 2003 (Oct 6) Berthellina quadridens from Jamaica. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/11106
As you will see in various discussions on the Forum, it seems there are major problems identifying orange-yellow coloured species of Berthellina and Berthella from external features. It seems there are a number of species in the Atlantic and Indo-West Pacific which can only be distinguished on anatomical differences. Unfortunately this work has not yet been completed so in the meantime we can only sit back and wait.
September 25, 2002
From: Juan Lucas Cervera.
Dear Linda and Bill,
According to the data from Terry Gosliner and my research, the Berthellina species from the Caribbean Sea is Berthellina quadridens (Morch, 1867).
Berthellina engeli was erected by Gardiner (1936) for specimens from southern England, and that also led him to describe the genus Berthellina. Those specimens were early identified as belonging to Berthella plumula (non B. plumula Montagu) by Engel (1934). The description of this material only supplied data of the shell, radula and jaws (no data on the reproductive system). However, only the shells of this material are avalilable at the Oxford University Museum, and to distinguish Atlantic spp of this genus only by the shell is impossible.
According to Tom Thompson (pers. comm.) the last British material of Berthellina collected was Gardiner's. On the other hand, Vayssiere (1896) erected the species Berthellina edwardsi (as Berthella) with material from Azores and Cape Verde Archipelago. He described briefly the shell of this species, but a detailed description was supplied in Vayssiere (1898) from Azores' material.
So, what is the correct identity of the British material, the so called Berthellina engeli? Is it B. edwardsi? or B. quadridens? Terry and I think that probably belongs to B. edwardsi, but we cannot be sure until further British material is available. Moreover, we think the European specimens belongs to B. edwardsi. So, I hope all this will clarify the present situation.
firstname.lastname@example.orgCervera, J.L., 2002 (Sep 25) Re: Berthellina engeli? from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/8043
It certainly a step forward in sorting out the Berthellina problems. I guess at the moment you are considering the East Pacific animals to be B. quadridens as well?
September 24, 2002
From: Linda Ianniello
Here is a photo of what looks like Berthellina engeli from Paul Humann's book. It was found in the Florida Keys, in August, 2001 on a night dive. It was at a depth of about 35 feed and was about 1.5 inches long. Maybe this will help a little in determining the distribution of this species.
email@example.comIanniello, L., 2002 (Sep 24) Berthellina engeli? from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/7986
Berthellina engeli is certainly the name used for animals from the Caribbean but the identity of this species, or rather, what the name applies to, needs some more research.
November 1, 2000
From: Jennifer Whitacre
I work at Inland Aquatics, and our last order of "Lettuce Slugs" turned out to be six Berthellina. After finding pictures of several different types, I am led to believe they are Berthellina engeli.
The image that most closely resembles our two survivors is online at:
I am mostly interested in finding out what to feed my lovely orange friends. The first four died within 24 hours of arrival, and the remaining two have been here for nearly two weeks.
I Appreciate Your Time.
firstname.lastname@example.orgWhitacre , J., 2000 (Nov 1) What does Berthellina engeli eat?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3271
If your animals are a species of Berthellina then there have been various reports suggesting that most species feed on a fairly wide variety of sponges. The common Indo-West Pacific species Berthellina citrina has also been reported by Scott Johnson to feed on some corals, and in particular Tubastrea in Hawaii. B. quadridens has been reported to feed on sea anemones, but I can't find any information on the food of B. engeli.
Unfortunately sponges as the most likely food is not good news because they are not that easy to keep in aquaria, and they are quite difficult to identify. Perhaps it would be worth experimenting with sea anemones.