(Alder & Hancock, 1854)
North Atlantic - France, British Isles, Denmark, Iceland, Nova Scotia, Maine. North Pacific - also reported from British Columbia.
Upper: Eastport, Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine, USA. Atlantic Ocean. Depth: 10 to 12 metres. Length: approximately 15 mm. May/June 2004. Gravel and debris strewn bottom near remains of old pier. Photographer: Alan Shepard. Lower: Woody Beach, Eastport, Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine, USA, Atlantic coast. Depth: 15 meters. Length: 12 mm. 12 July 2005. Rocky bottom, high current. Photographer: Alan Shepard
This small species of Cuthona, reaching approximately 20 mm in length, was originally described from England, and its anatomy and natural history were reviewed by brown (1980). Its skin is translucent clear, the whitish viscera showing through the body wall. There are scattered irregularly shaped white spots on the cerata, rhinophores and oral tentacles, and the ceratal digestive gland duct may be yellow, pink or light brown in colour. In the British Isles the normal colour of the ceratal digestive gland is yellow. The ceratal tips are often swollen and blubtly rounded. In England, Brown reports it to live on and feed on the hydroid Halecium muricatum. He also provides indirect evidence that this species has non-pelagic larvae.
Gosliner & Millen (1984) identify specimens of a similar looking animal from the Pacific coast of Canada as Cuthona pustulosa, and Bleakney (1996) identifies it from the Atlantic coast of Nth America as well. In many ways they look very similar but we probably need to look more closely at the populations before the identity can be confirmed. Both Nth American populations have planktotrophic larvae and from Millen & Gosliner's description, the teeth of the Nth Pacific animals are about half the size of English specimens. It is possible that English animals have planktotrophic larvae as well, and the tooth size may prove to be more similar, but it certainly worth drawing attention to the fact that there are still questions to be answered before the identity of Nth Amercian animals is confirmed.
Bleakney, J. S. (1996) Sea Slugs of Atlantic Canada and the Gulf of Maine. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Nimbus Publishing & Nova Scotia Museum. 1-216.
Brown, G. H. (1980) The British species of the aeolidacean family Tergipedidae (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia) with a discussion of the genera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 69: 225-255.
Gosliner, T. M. and Millen, S. V. (1984) Records of Cuthona pustulata (Alder & Hancock, 1854) from the Canadian Pacific. The Veliger, 26: 183-187.
Rudman, W.B., 2005 (May 23) Cuthona pustulata (Alder & Hancock, 1854). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/cuthpust
August 1, 2005
From: Alan Shepard
Here is a photo of a color variation of Cuthona pustulata from Eastport, Maine. All previous specimens I had encountered had the dull grey colored cerata [see message #13845 ]. This one had the yellow cores like those found on the European side of the Atlantic.
This specimen was approximately 12mm long. It was found at a depth of 15 meters and the water temperature was 7c.
Locality: Woody Beach, Eastport, Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine, USA, Atlantic coast. Depth: 15 meters. Length: 12 mm. 12 July 2005. Rocky bottom, high current. Photographer: Alan Shepard
firstname.lastname@example.orgShepard, A.D., 2005 (Aug 1) Cuthona pustulata - color variation from Eastport, Maine. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14267
This is a great find. It certainly looks very like the typical colour form from the other side of the Atlantic.
June 2, 2005
From: Jim Anderson
Attached are images from Scotland of Cuthona pustulata. ID confirmed for me by Dr. Bernard Picton. Water temperature 10 deg C.
Locality: Kentallen Reef, Loch Linnhe, Scotland [Sea Loch on west coast of Scotland]. Depth: 13 metres. Length: 12mm approx. 29 May 2005. Rocky reef. Photographer: Jim Anderson
This is another 'new species' for me and has been added to my Scottish Nudibranch web site: scottishnudibranchs.co.uk/
email@example.comAnderson, J.B., 2005 (Jun 2) Cuthona pustulata from Scotland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13928
Thanks for this. Since this species was described from the British Isles, it is good to get a specimen from that side of the Atlantic on the Forum to complement the one from Nth America. The yellowish ceratal digestive gland seems to be the common colour form on your side of the Atlantic.
May 23, 2005
From: Alan Shepard
Here are three shots of Cuthona pustulata taken last year off Eastport, Maine, USA. They were fairly numerous during May and June and not to be seen the rest of the year. Most specimens were about 15mm long. Almost every specimen was found crawling along the hydroid-covered timbers which litter the bottom of the old steamship pier. The timbers are by far the best location to find the smaller nudibranchs of the area. The timbers are covered with various species of hydroids and other invertebrates.
Locality: Eastport, Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine, USA. Atlantic Ocean. Depth: 10 to 12 metres. Length: approximately 15 mm. May/June 2004. Gravel and debris strewn bottom near remains of old pier. Photographer: Alan Shepard
Shephard, A.D., 2005 (May 23) Cuthona pustulata from Eastport, Maine, USA. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13845
Thanks for another new animal for the Forum. This is another of those European species which may also occur on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Nth America. As I mention on the Fact Sheet however, there are still a few questions to be answered.