Chelidonura africana Pruvot-Fol, 1953
Chelidonura africana by Enric MadrenasTaxonomy
Class: Gastropoda Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura Spengel, 1881
Clade: Euopisthobranchia Jörger et al., 2010
Clade: Cephalaspidea P. Fischer, 1883
Superfamily: Philinoidea J.E. Gray, 1850
Family: Aglajidae Pilsbry, 1895 (1847)
Genus: Chelidonura A. Adams, 1850
Species: Chelidonura africana Pruvot-Fol, 1953
- Chelidonura italica Sordi, 1980
This species of cephalaspidean can reach about 25 mm in length (Gofas et al., 2001), although most field observations reach only 10-15 mm. As in other family members, the body has a head shield in the anterior side, a mantle, the lateral parapodia partially covering the two previous areas and the foot. The background color of the body is homogeneous dark brown covered with very thin white spots that tend to accumulate on the back end of the head shield forming a wide white band. There could be accumulations of white spots on the mantle zone. Some specimens may have so many white spots that seem to be albino. The head shield occupies more than half the total length of the body and its front edge difference 4 bundles of sensory setae. The eyes are located in the anterior dorsum of the head shield. The back of the mantle has two caudal lobes, the one on the left being longer and ending in a sharp tip, trait referred in the genus name. The parapodia are well developed, they are of the same color as the body and its upper edge is colored orange or yellow. There are rounded turquoise spots on the side walls of the parapodia, that can also be seen in the posterior lobes of the mantle and in the tail. The above areas of the head shield are usually depigmented and semi-transparent.
Ch.africana lives in shallow rocky substrates rich with algae and invertebrates, among which it is easily overlooked. It has also been cited in Posidonia oceanica meadows (Marin, 1988). Like other species of the family, it is a voracious predator that it has been found feeding on small marine flatworms. This species has often been cited under the name of Ch.italica Sordi, 1980, which is now considered synonymous with Ch.africana.
- Chelidonura. From Latin “chelidon”, swallow + from Greek “oura”, tail. Refers to the long left caudal lobe.
- Africana. Related to Africa, where the first specimens were presumably collected.
This species has been cited in the western Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast of North Africa, in the Açores, Canary islands and Madeira. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been observed off the coast of Portugal, the Strait of Gibraltar, on the Mediterranean coast of Andalusia, in the Levant region and in Catalonia, where it has been cited in Cadaques, L’Escala and Cala Margarida (Palamós).
|: OBIS||: OPK|
|: GROC 2010-2011||: VIMAR|
|: Enric Madrenas||: Manuel Ballesteros.|
|: João Pedro Silva||: M@re Nostrum|
|: Bernard Picton||: Other sources|
|: GBIF.ORG||: Marine Regions|
References for the species: Chelidonura africana
Portugal: Gavaia et al. (2004). Gibraltar: García-Gómez and García (1984b). Andalucía (Med.): Ballesteros et al. (1986, as C. italica). Levante: Templado, Talavera and Murillo (1983), Templado et al. (2002), Marín and Ros (1987), Martínez et al. (1993, as C. italica), García Raso et al. (1992, as C. italica). Catalunya: Martínez et al. (1993, citada como Ch. italica). Canarias: Ortea, Moro and Espinosa (1996), Ortea et al. (2001), Martínez, Malaquias and Cervera (2002), Moro et al. (2003). Madeira: Malaquias et al. (2001), Malaquias, Martínez and Abreu (2002), Martínez, Malaquias and Cervera (2002).
Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.
This chart displays the observation probability for Chelidonura africana
based on our own records.
Bibliography based on the works by Steve Long, 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000 and Gary McDonald, 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia, with later updates from other resources.