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Family  Pleurobranchidae





The family Pleurobranchidae, or side-gilled slugs, are small to large soft-bodied animals that vary in size from about 15 mm up to the largest, Pleurobranchis grandis which reaches 200 mm in length. They have no external shell but most have a reduced internal shell. They live in the intertidal and shallow subtidal, crawling exposed on the substrate or on their food source. They usually shelter at night, coming out to feed in the daytime. For defense, acidic secretions are produced. They are carnivorous, some being restricted to a particular food source such as sponges, while others eat a range of soft bodied animals.

Nine of the species of this family in NSW have internal shells. They are as follows:

Berthella martensi (Pilsbry, 1896)

Berthella stellata (Risso, 1826)

Berthellina citrina (Rüppell & Leuckart, 1828)

Pleurobranchus albiguttatus (Bergh, 1905)

Pleurobranchus forskalii Rüppell & Leuckart, 1828

Pleurobranchus grandis Pease, 1868

Pleurobranchus hilli (Hedley, 1894)

Pleurobranchus peronii Cuvier, 1804

Pleurobranchus weberi (Bergh, 1905)


Copyright Des Beechey 2018