Cerberilla bernadettae
Tardy, 1965

Family: Aeolidiidae


Known from Atlantic coast of France, and Tunisia


southern section of Lac de Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa. Depth: 0 to 1m, Between January and March, 2003. Photo: Anis

Its shape is typical for the genus, with a broad foot, many rows of cerata, and long oral tentacles. Known primarily from the original description where its anatomy is fully described as are aspects of its natural history. The anterior part of the head is cream and an opaque white line runs out along the dorsal side of the oral tentacles. Behind the white line is a blak line. The brownish rhinophores are relatively short. There is also a grey or black oblique line running along the inside edge of the anteriormost ceratal row on each side. In the dorsal midline, in the anterior half of the body, between the cerata are a pair of grey-black lines. The cerata range in colour from some with just the brownish digestive gland showing through a translucent ceratal wall to longer ones with a subapical black spot, and just below a path of yellow.

Tardy reported that it burrowed in soft sediments and fed on sea anemones, the frst information on the biology of any species of the genus. We now know that burrowing is typical for the genus, and suspect they all feed on sea anemones. Previously known from the Atlantic coast of France. The largest specimen reported by Tardy was 16mm long alive.

• Tardy, J. (1965). Description et biologie de Cerberilla bernadetti, espèce nouvelle de Gastéropode Nudibranche de la côte atlantique française: discussion sur la position systématique du genre. Bulletin de l'Institute Océanographique. Monaco, 65(1349): 1-22, 6 plates.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2003 (May 4) Cerberilla bernadettae Tardy, 1965. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/cerbbern

Related messages

Re: Cerberilla bernadettae from Tunisia

May 7, 2003
From: Juan Lucas Cervera

Dear Jamila and Bill,
I agree with your ID. Regarding the distribution of this species, Moro and colleagues recorded this species in Canary Islands in 1995. On the other hand, Cattaneo-Vietti et al (1990) recorded this species also from the Italian coasts in their Atlas.

• Cattaneo-Vietti, R., R. Chemello, & Ricardo Giannuzzi-Savelli. 1990. Atlas of Mediterranean nudibranchs [Atlante dei nudibranchi del Mediterraneo]. 264 pp., 14 pls. La Conchiglia, Rome.
• Moro, L., Ortea, J., Bacallado, J.J., . Valdes, A. & Perez Sanchez, J. M. 1995. Nuevos aeolidaceos (Gastropoda, Nudibranchia) para la fauna de Canarias. Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias, 9(2-4): 63-75, pls. 1-2.



Thanks Lucas,
Bill Rudman

Cerberilla bernadettae from Tunisia

May 6, 2003
From: Jamila Ben Souissi

Dear Bill
This is another species of sea slug found in in the southern section of a coastal lagoon, "Lac de Tunis" in Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa. Depth: 0 to 1m some time between January and March, 2003. It is part of the collection my student, Anis, has already inquired about.
Cordially yours


Ben Souissi, J., 2003 (May 6) Cerberilla bernadettae from Tunisia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/9859

Dear Jamila,
This is an interesting one. It is a species of Cerberilla, a genus of burrowing aeolids, which feed on sea anemones. I am pretty sure this is Cerberilla bernadettae, which I think has only been reported from the Alantic coast of France.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (May 6). Comment on Cerberilla bernadettae from Tunisia by Jamila Ben Souissi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/9859