Science Notes & News by Eric Borneman & Ronald L. Shimek, Ph. D.

Invertebrate Tidbits

Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D.

Valdés, A. 2005. A new species of Aeolidiella Bergh, 1867 (Mollusca: Nudibranchia: Aeolidiidae) from the Florida Keys, USA. The Veliger 47(3):218-223.


A new species of Aeolidiella is described based on specimens collected from the Florida Keys. The species is characterized by having a translucent gray color, with opaque white pigment on the rhinophores, oral tentacles, and most of the dorsum except for the head, where the white pigment forms a triangular patch. External and internal differences separate this species from other members of the genus. It is possible that this species is bred for aquarium control of species of Aiptasia and commercialized under the name Berghia verrucicornis.


According to the author, this new species is probably illustrated here on the Sea Slug Forum.

Several years ago, in an article in Aquarium Frontiers, Eric Borneman discussed several potential predatory nudibranchs all being sold under the name Berghia verrucicornis. Eric noted that there were at least three species being sold under that name. This article may be the first scientific description of one of those nudibranchs, possibly the species he designated as "unidentified species 1."

Much verbiage has been wasted on discussions of what is the real Berghia on The Sea Slug Forum and elsewhere with no clear answer. This lack of a clear answer is related to the difficulty of correctly identifying nudibranchs, particularly small ones. This article gives an excellent description of one of these species, and now the name for this new species is NOT Berghia, but rather Aeolidiella stephanieae Valdés 2005. As Steve Kempf points out, even if this species is not Berghia, it still eats Aiptasia, as does Berghia verrucicornis.

If you have any questions about this article or suggestions for future topics, please visit the respective author's forum on Reef Central (Eric Borneman's or Ronald L. Shimek's).

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