(Redirected from Pleurobranchomorpha)

The Pleurobranchidae are a taxonomic family of sea slugs, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Pleurobranchomorpha.

Berthella martensi (Pilsbry, 1896).jpg
Berthella martensi. One can see the lateral gill.
Scientific classification
clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Nudipleura
clade Pleurobranchomorpha

Gray, 1827

Gray, 1827 [1]
Type genus
Cuvier, 1804
  • Pleurobranchinae Gray, 1827
    • Tribe Pleurobranchini Gray, 1827
    • Tribe Bathyberthellini Garcia, Troncoso, Cervera & Garcia-Gomez, 1996
    • Tribe Berthellini Burn, 1962
  • Pleurobranchaeinae Pilsbry, 1896
  • Bathyberthellini Garcia, Troncoso, Cervera & Garcia-Gomez, 1996
  • Berthellinae Burn, 1962
  • Pleurobranchinae Gray, 1827
Close-up on the lateral gill of a pleurobranch sea slug (Berthella martensi).


Species in the family Pleurobranchidae have a prominent mantle and an internal shell that becomes reduced or is lost completely in adults.[3] Some adult species have been seen feeding on ascidians. Larval pleurobranchids can be planktotrophic (feeding on plankton), lecithotrophic (deriving nutrition from yolk), or direct developing.

Like all Pleurobranchomorpha, they breathe through an external gill, located on the right side (contrary to nudibranchs who have it on the back), just after the genital organ.

Many species produce secretions from their rich glandular mantle as a chemical defense against predators.[4] Even the production of sulfuric acid has been reported.[5]


Until 2005, this family was placed in the suborder Notaspidea. However, in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005), the family Pleurobranchidae was placed in the superfamily Pleurobranchoidea, the only family belonging to the subclade Pleurobranchomorpha (sister to the subclade Nudibranchia), part of the clade Nudipleura.

Subfamily PleurobranchinaeEdit


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia metropolitana, Volume 7, Plates to Zoology; plate Mollusca III (plate 4)
  2. ^ Bouchet, P. (2011). Pleurobranchidae. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species on 2011-06-30
  3. ^ R. Willan (1987). "Phylogenetic systematics of the Notaspidea (Opisthobranchia) with a reappraisal of families and genera". Am. Malacol. Bull. 5: 215–241.
  4. ^ Aldo Spinella; Ernesto Mollo; Enrico Trivellone; Guido Cimino (December 1997). "Testudinariol A and B, two unusual triterpenoids from the skin and the mucus of the marine mollusc Pleurobranchus testudinarius". Tetrahedron. 53 (49): 16891–16896. doi:10.1016/S0040-4020(97)10124-7.
  5. ^ T. Thompson (1988). "Acidic allomones in marine organisms". J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U. K. 68 (3): 499–517. doi:10.1017/S0025315400043368.
  6. ^ Francisco José García; José Carlos García-Gómez; Jesús S. Troncoso; Juan Lucas Cervera (May 1994). "A descriptive study of some Antarctic notaspidean opisthobranchs (Gastropoda), with description of a new genus and species". Polar Biology. 14 (4): 261–268. doi:10.1007/bf00239174.
  7. ^ Cervera et al. (2000). A new species of Berthella Blainville, 1824 (Opisthobranchia: Notaspidea) from the Canary Islands (Eastern Atlantic Ocean), with a re-examination of the phylogenetic relationships of the Notaspidea. J.Moll. Stud., 66: 3001-311.
  8. ^ Michael Schrödl (1999). "The genus Berthella Blainville, 1825 (Notaspidea, : Pleurobranchidae) from Magellanic waters". Journal of Molluscan Studies. 65 (4): 399–409. doi:10.1093/mollus/65.4.399.
  9. ^ Marcus, Ev. 1984. The Western Atlantic warm water Notaspidea (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia), Parte 2 Boletim de Zoologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo 8 p. 43-76.
  10. ^ Mörch, 1863. Contributions à la faune malacologique des Antilles danoises Journal de Conchyliologie 11 21-43.

External linksEdit