Re: Haminoea cymbalum & H. simillima

March 21, 1999
From: C. Carlson & P.J. Hoff


Here is a partial response to the three animals in the 'cymbalum' discussion.  I will send this in three parts. We believe that Lindsay's 78 & 79 are separate species and have included some material from specimens found on Guam.  Haminoea cymbalum has been fairly consistent in its color pattern when we have found it.  It is easily separable from the other orange spotted specimens in our collection by the nature of it's gizzard
plates as well as color.  The gizzard plates of H. cymbalum are relatively smooth with a hint of a series of ridges but lacking the high profile ridges as well as the heavy concentrations of chitinous rods found in both '78' & '79'.

There is a problem with the identification 'cymbalum'.  It is difficult to tell from Quoy & Gaimard's original drawing which one of the many rotund shells was being shown.  The specimen in the Paris Museum that represents Q & G's 'cymbalum' is much larger than what Q & G described.  It has been suggested that the shell of H. navicula (da Costa, 1778) was substituted.  The earliest name we feel represents 'cymbalum' is H. simillima Pease, 1868.

A possible host for H. simillima is the red algae, Laurencia, in which it is often found.

UPPER PHOTO: Guam, Bile Bay, reef flat; 12.5mm long; 25 Oct. 1976. LOWER PHOTO: Shell, 8.5 x 5.0mm 

Clay & Patty Jo

Clay Carlson & Patty Jo Hoff 
Merizo, Guam.                            

Carlson, C. & Hoff, P.J., 1999 (Mar 21) Re: Haminoea cymbalum & H. simillima. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Clay & Patty Jo,
Thanks for your contribution. I hoped you would see my request for help. It's many years since I looked inside a Haminoea, but I remember finding the penis morphology to be a good species character. I have seen specimens of what I call H. cymbalum from Australia, Fiji, India and East Africa. I will need to have a look at my drawings etc to sort out what I had.

I have continued using 'cymbalum' at this moment, not because I disagree with you on simillima, but through a prudent inertia. I'll see if anyone else joins the debate before changing filenames, indices etc.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Mar 21). Comment on Re: Haminoea cymbalum & H. simillima by C. Carlson & P.J. Hoff. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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