Lobiger souverbii

Photo courtesy of Dave Mulliner

Lobiger souverbii, Fischer, 1856

Lobiger souverbii is a fascinating opisthobranch, and one which has caused some discussion concerning its variation from one ocean to another, and whether or not it is synonymous with Lobiger viridis. I will leave those discussions for another day and only address here, Dave Mulliner' s documentation of the species from the Galapagos Islands.

Lobiger souverbii is a small sacoglossid, found primarily on the green algae, Caulerpa. It has retained an external shell which is semi-transparent. Like other sacoglossids it has rolled rhinophores. This species is characterized by its four long parapodial lobes, which often are seen rolled up like the rhinophores. These extensions of the mantle may become severed or autotomized when the animal is disturbed. This has led to some confusion, with several species (an in fact the original description of Lobiger souverbii) being described as having only two lobes (see the original Fischer illustration on Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum ).

The body is green, making it difficult to find on its algal food source, with varying amounts of lighter speckling. The surface texture found on the foot and tail, also occurs on the lateral lobes and rhinophores.

The distribution of this species is circumtropical, including not only the first to my knowledge Galapagos occurrence shown here but, Santa Cruz, Nayarit, Baja California Sur, the Caribbean, Lord Howe Island, Australia, Hawaii, and the western Pacific.

Additional photos of this species can be found in Ono species #044, Debelius , bottom of page 163, Coleman , pages 128-129, and in Paul Humann 's Caribbean Reef Creatures Guide.

Dave Behrens
Danville, Calif
Apr., 2002

David Mulliner is a true legend. He was Sea Hunt before Lloyd Bridges. Seriously, he has been diving and studying marine life in San Diego and Baja California for decades. He has also pioneered close-up microphotography, and is the staff photographer for the San Diego Shell Club's publication, The Festivus. His charming smile and welcoming embrace have encouraged many neophytes into studying nudibranchs and other molluscs. Dave has generously supplied specimens to many scientists. He continues to share his expertise, knowledge and photographs with all who share his love of the sea and its mollusc community.

Send Dave mail at mulliner1@juno.com

Taxonomic information courtesy of:

David W. Behrens

Author: Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Co-Author Coral Reef Animals of the Indo Pacific
Propriator of Sea Challengers Natural History Books !

Send Dave mail at seachalleng@earthlink.net

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