Umbraculum mediterraneum
(Lamarck, 1819)

Family: Umbraculidae


Mediterranean and east Atlantic (Madeira, Azores, Cape Verde, St Helena Is.) Also reports in Forum from Canary Ids and Florida.


El Hierro, Canary Islands.
PHOTOS: Mark Thorpe & Katja Nagengast, OCEAN-EYE VIDEO.

The general feeling is that there is probably only one species of Umbraculum worldwide. If that is so the earliest name is Umbraculum umbraculum. However it is possible that the east Atlantic form could be distinguished as Umbraculum mediterraneum but I am not sure where that leaves animals from the west Atlantic. Despite a general trend to synonymise U. mediterraneum with U. umbraculum, no one has examined the anatomy of these two species to see if this is justified. Until someone does, I feel we might as well continue to differentiate the Atlantic and Indo-West Pacific populations with separate names. See continuing discussion in messages on both species pages. See photos below from Florida.

• Lamarck, J.B.P.A. de M. (1819) Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertebres, presentant les caracteres generaux et particuliers de ces animaux, leur distribution, leur classes, leurs familles, leurs genres, et al citation des principales especes qui s'y rapportent; precedee d'une Introduction offrant la determination des caracteres essentiels de l'Animal, sa distinction du vegetal et des autres corps naturels, enfin, l'Exposition des Principes fondamentaux de la Zoologie 6(1): i-vi, 1-343. Paris, Chez l'Auteur, au Jardin du Roi.
• Marcus, Ev. (1985) Catalogue of the western Atlantic warm water Opisthobranchia. 10. The western Atlantic warm water Notaspidea Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia), Part 3, Umbraculacea. Boletim de Zoologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo, 9: 1-15
• Vayssière, A (1885) Recherches zoologiques et anatomiques sur les mollusques Opisthobranches du Golfe de Marseille. Pt. 1, Tectibranches. Annales du Musee d'Histoire Naturelle de Marseille, Zoologie 2, Mem. 3: 1-181. (pls 1-6)

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (January 14) Umbraculum mediterraneum (Lamarck, 1819). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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