Almost all underwater guides are using common names like "Spanish Dancer,
False Pyjama Sea Slug, Three Striped Phyllidia" etc. These common names
cause some problems:
Nobody can be sure, of which animal you are really talking (even in
the same language there are regional differences concerning the meaning).
But what is more important: more than 95 % of the sea slugs don't have
"common" names. The authors are forced to create them.
The results: different authors create different names. So you find
pretty often in different uw-guides different names for the same species.
Animals get "real common names" if they are of interest to many people:
maybe as food, maybe because they are very pretty, maybe because they have
a very significant behavior, maybe to increase the sexual power - but who
on earth is interested in sea-slugs?
Scienstist solve this problem in using Latin names.
The scientific name contents: Genus Species Author,
Year of description - genus and speciesname are written italic.
is just like using name and prename, in the genus Acteon are many
species, Acteon variegatus, Acteon siebaldii, Acteon tornatilis
Bulla ampulla Linnaeus, 1758
means Linnaeus published in 1758 a description of an animal which he
named ampulla, in this description he placed it in the genus Bulla.
many cases this first placement later turns out to be wrong - this is shown
by putting author and year in brackets.
Armina semperi (Bergh, 1861) [Pleurophyllidia]
means Bergh published in 1861 a description of an animal which he named
placed it in another genus than Armina, where this one is now placed.
I know the original genus name, I add it in square-brackets:[Pleurophyllidia]
Sometimes authors publish their work together, this is also reflected
Acanthodoris pilosa (Abildgaard in Mueller, 1789) [Doris]
means in the publication of Mueller of the year 1789 was a section,
in which Albildgaard described the species pilosa, placing it in
the genus Doris.
Adalaria loveni (Alder & Hancock, 1862) [Doris]
means Alder and Hancock published the description together in 1862.
They named this species loveni and placed it in the genus Doris.
Chromodoris cf. africana Eliot, 1904
cf. is an abbreviation from a Latin word (confer) and means 'refer
to' or 'compare with', here it means it could possibly be Chromodoris
africana or perhaps something closely related, or at least similar
Platydoris sp. A Genus: Bergh, 1877
sp. is an abbreviation from a Latin word (species) and means it is
an undescribed species of the genus Platydoris which was established
by Bergh in 1877. The letter A is to seperate it from other undescribed
If you look at Select by taxonomy you will
easily see the hierarchical structure of tanonomy starting with
(this is what is treated at this website as sea-slugs),
followed by Orders etc. - I think this needs no further comment.
I strictly recommend to visit Bill
Rudman's Sea Slug Forum!
Just use the search button to find what you are looking for.