The taxonomy of Magellanic and Antarctic cadlinids has been for many years in extreme disorder, and the species were not reliably identifiable. Recent collections in Chile and Argentina, mainly by SCUBA, and re-examination of type material provided data for a comprehensive revision. The present study gives new morphological information on all southern species, both by scanning electron microscope examinations of cuticular structures and detailed microanatomical investigation of the genitalia. The high Antarctic Cadlina affinis does not possess an aberrant androdiaulic genital system but, as all other doridoidean nudibranchs, a triaulic system with a separate vagina and nidamental duct. The vaginal duct is short and leaves the vagina distally, distinguishing this species from other known cadlinids. The genitalia of the holotype of C. kerguelensis from Kerguelen Island have been re-examined. In contrast to previous assumptions, it is not conspecific with cadlinids from South Georgia and the Magellanic region because of clear differences in the genital system. The south-western Atlantic C. magellanica is redescribed and considered to be conspecific with the holotype of C. falklandica from the Falklands. A specimen previously assigned to C. falklandica from South Georgia, however, differs from other southern cadlinids due to genital features and is redescribed as C. georgiensis sp. nov. The Argentinian species C. laevigata and C. berghi, cannot be clearly distinguished from C. sparsa, of which a lectotype has been designated and, therefore, are regarded as junior synonyms. Five Cadlina species from the Southern Ocean are regarded to be valid, and their biogeography is briefly discussed.