Cyerce cristallina
(Trinchese, 1881)

Family: Caliphyllidae


Mediterranean & Caribbean


Cozumel Is., Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Depth: 20 feet. Approx 3 cm long. Photos: Jim Lyle

The body and inner part of the foot is a deep opaque red. There are a pair of ovate translucent clear patches on the head running from the eye to the base of the rhinophores, and another U-shaped translucent clear patch in the dorsal midline over the pericardial swelling. These three translucent patches leave a red cross-shaped pattern on the head. The edge of the foot is translucent clear. The larger branch of the bifid rhinophores is red while the smaller branch is translucent clear with a reddish tip. The oral tentacles are translucent. The cerata are translucent with a red marking down the midline, which can range from a broad band right down the ceras, to just a red patch at the tip. On each side of the red tip the ceratal edge is opaque white, with white specks scattered out on to the dorsal surface of the cerata. The foot as rounded front corners and the anterior edge is transversely grooved. The sole of the foot is crossed by a deep transverse furrow at the end of the first third of the body. Some descriptions report an olive-green band along the sides of the body, which may be food related but this is not clear from published descriptions. The anal papillae is situated on the right side, behind the eye and just ahead of the pericardium. The spawn is a flat spiral band with white eggs 0.06 in diameter. Grows to approximately 35mm in length.

The Caribbean specimen illustrated here has small raised yellow spots scattered over the dorsal surface of the cerata but these are not mentioned in any published descriptions of specimens. Thompson (1977, 1988) notes Cyerce jheringi Pelseneer, 1892 and Lobifera cristallina (Portmann,1958) as synonyms.

• Schmekel, L. & Portmann, A. (1982) Opisthobranchia des Mittelmeeres. Nudibranchia und Sacoglossa. Springer-Verlag. 410pp.
• Thompson, T.E. (1977) Jamaican Opisthobranch Molluscs. I. Journal of Molluscan Studies 43: 93-140.
• Thompson, T.E. (1988) Eastern Mediterranean Opisthobranchia: Oxynoidae, Polybranchiidae, Stiligeridae (Sacoglossa. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 54: 157-172.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2003 (August 27) Cyerce cristallina (Trinchese, 1881). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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