Mollusca Research

Evolution of sea slugs: a new phylogeny of bubble snails (Cephalaspidea, Gastropoda)


Alliculatrum parallela from Guam
Alliculatrum parallela from Guam

Cephalaspidea is an Order of heterobranch gastropods considered in previous times the most primitive evolutionary lineage of these snails in contrast with the nudibranchs (sea slugs) which were regarded the most derived. However, this view has changed as a consequence of recent developments in the study of the evolution of cephalaspids where the Natural History Museum of Bergen has played a chief role. Despite recent progress there are still several open questions about the evolution and phylogeny of these gastropods. This project aims to test the systematic position of several lineages of cephaslaspids that were never studied before, such as Roxania, Cylichnium, Noalda, the "coloured philinids", among others, by using a multi-gene phylogenetic approach based on mitochondrial and nuclear markers.