Tag Archives: bold

Berthella sideralis, a rarity finally documented alive and barcoded!

The Pleurobranchidae sea slug species Berthella sideralis was described by the Swedish malacologist Sven Ludvig Lovén in 1846 based on specimens collect at Bohuslän, in southern Sweden not far from the city of Gothenburg. This species has hardly been mentioned in the literature after its original description, and no images of life species are to our best knowledge available in books, research papers or even web platforms – until now!

A synthesis of the morphological features of B. sideralis can be found in Cervera et al. (2010) who studied in detail two specimens collected during 1930’s in Trondheimfjord as part of a phylogenetic study of the genus Berthella.

Recently, in late November 2015 during a Museum scientific cruise – there is a blog post about this day of field work here – we collected one specimen in Hjeltefjorden (around Bergen) at 220 meters depth using an RP-sledge. This specimen is here documented and was recently genetically barcoded as part of our effort to barcode the Norwegian marine fauna through the NorBOL project.

A live specimen of Berthella sideralis. Ths scale bar i 5 mm. Photo: K. Kongshavn

A live specimen of Berthella sideralis. The scale bar i 5 mm. Photo: K. Kongshavn

Berthella sideralis is only known from Sweden and Norway. In Norway it has been reported between Bergen and Finnmark.

Reference: Cervera, J L., Gosliner, T. M., García-Gómez, J. C., & Ortea, J. A. 2010. A new species of Berthella Blainville, 1824 (Opisthobranchia, Notaspidea) from the Canary Island (Eastern Atlantic Ocean), with a re-examination of the phylogenetic relationships of the Notaspidea. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 66: 301–311.

-Manuel & Katrine

Door #4: A cushioned star

This gorgeous sea star was first described by O.F. Müller in 1776. He gave it a species name fitting the characteristic appearance of the animal (Lat. Pulvillus= pillow, cushion). The common names in both English – Red Cushion Star- and Norwegian – Sypute – also reflect on this. Though most commonly red like the specimen pictured below, they can also be yellow-white. The white protrusions on the upper side the are gills. It lives at 10-300 meters depth, where it is often seen feeding on the coral Alcyonium digitatum. This particular specimen was collected during the course in marine faunistics this fall, in a locality just outside our field station close to Bergen.

Porania-001 ZMBN_106039_2Strangely enough, considering how common, conspicuous and wide-spread the species is, it has not been barcoded very frequently in BOLD – our specimen here will be the fifth in total to be submitted..!

Screen shot from a search in BOLD for the species

Screen shot from a search in BOLD for Porania pulvillus

-Katrine