Integrative systematics of the genus Limacia O. F. Müller, 1781 (Gastropoda, Heterobranchia, Nudibranchia, Polyceridae) in the Eastern Pacific

  • Roberto A. Uribe
  • Fabiola Sepúlveda
  • Jeffrey H. R. Goddard
  • Ángel Valdés
Original Paper


Morphological examination and molecular analyses of specimens of the genus Limacia collected in the Eastern Pacific Ocean indicate that four species of Limacia occur in the region. Limacia cockerelli, previously considered to range from Alaska to Baja California, is common only in the northern part of its former range. An undescribed pseudocryptic species, previously included as L. cockerelli, occurs from Northern California to the Baja California Peninsula and is the most common species of Limacia in Southern California and Northern Mexico. Another new species similar to L. cockerelli is described from Antofagasta, Chile and constitutes the first record of the genus Limacia in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean. These two new species are formally described herein. Finally, Limacia janssi is a genetically and morphologically distinct tropical species ranging from Baja California to Panama. Species delimitation analyses based on molecular data and unique morphological traits from the dorsum, radula, and reproductive systems are useful in distinguishing these species


Mollusca New species Molecular taxonomy Pseudocryptic species 



We thank Alejandro Ramírez, Julissa Rassa, Eduardo Nahualhuen, and Pedro Coronado for their assistance during diving activities as well as the crew of Santa Maria S.A. for providing logistic support in Northern Chile. We also thank Zambra López for her help with software support and Craig Hoover and Sandra Millen for providing several specimens for this study. Ellen Strong facilitated obtaining photographs of the Holotype of L. cockerelli taken by Yolanda Villacampa. The SEM work was conducted at the California State Polytechnic University SEM laboratory supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant DMR-1429674. Lindsey Groves (LACM) assisted with the curation of specimens and access to the LACM collection. Financial support was provided by project 5303 and Laboratorio de Modelamiento de Sistemas Ecológicos Complejos (LAMSEC) of the Universidad de Antofagasta, Chile.

Supplementary material

12526_2017_676_MOESM1_ESM.docx (588 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 588 kb)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto A. Uribe
    • 1
  • Fabiola Sepúlveda
    • 2
  • Jeffrey H. R. Goddard
    • 3
  • Ángel Valdés
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Biodiversidad y Ecología BentónicaInstituto del Mar del Perú – IMARPEChimbotePerú
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Ecología Parasitaria y Epidemiología Marina LEPyEM, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Recursos BiológicosUniversidad de AntofagastaAntofagastaChile
  3. 3.Marine Science InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesCalifornia State Polytechnic UniversityPomonaUSA

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