Berghia columbina

Berghia columbina (García-Gómez & Thompson, 1990)

Berghia columbina @ Mataró by Manuel Ballesteros

Class: Gastropoda Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura Spengel, 1881
Clade: Nudipleura Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Dexiarchia Schrödl, Wägele & Willan, 2001
Infraorder: Cladobranchia Willan & Morton, 1984
Parvorder: Aeolidida Odhner, 1934
Superfamily: Aeolidioidea J.E.Gray, 1827
Family: Aeolidiidae J.E. Gray, 1827
Genus: Berghia Trinchese, 1877
Species: Berghia columbina (García-Gómez & Thompson, 1990) [Spurilla]


  • Spurilla columbina Garcia-Gomez & Thompson, 1990 (original)

Animals of this species can reach a size of 30 mm in length. The general coloration of the body is whitish in juvenile animals, with light brown or orange hue in larger individuals. The most characteristic trait of this species are the spots or orange stripes that appear to the sides of the head and the body, in the cardiac zone, the back and the base of each group of cerata. In the latter case these orange stripes, which are very apparent, go from front to back and towards the middle of the back. The oral palps are semi-transparent and have white or slightly yellowish granulations in the distal half. The rhinophores have abundant small papillae from almost the base to the apex, they are orange in the lower half and upward this color turns to yellowish, the apex is white. The eyes are very apparent behind the base of the rhinophores. There are up to 11 groups of cerata on each side of the back. They are relatively elongated and sharpened at the tip. The digestive gland is light brown in color and occupies almost the entire interior of the cerata but the tip that has a white cnidosac. There may also be fine whitish scores on the surface of the cerata. The genital orifice is located right under the first group of cerata, while the anus is located under the second group on the right side of the body. The foot is almost transparent, it is wide and in its anterior part a pair of well developed propodials palps can be observed.

This species is located on the Atlantic coasts under rocks in the intertidal. In the Mediterranean it has been located in Posidonia oceanica meadows. The only specimen found on the Catalan coasts appeared between masses of photophyllic algae. The spawn consists of a simple spiral cord of 2-3 turns containing white eggs inside ovigerous capsules 120-150 microns long (García-Gómez & Thompson, 1990).


  • Berghia. In honor of the Danish physician and malacologist Dr. Rudolph Bergh, (1824-1909).
  • Columbina. In honor of Christophorus Columbus in commemoration of the fifth centenary of the discovery of America by Europeans.

There are few reports of this species, which is limited so far to the south-western coasts of the Iberian Peninsula (García-Gómez & Thompson, 1990, Portugal coast Calado & Silva, 2012), the Canary Islands (Ortea et al , 2000), the Andalusian Mediterranean coast (Moreno & Templado, 1998), the Atlantic coast of Morocco (Pruvot-Fol, 1953) and Senegal (Carmona et al., 2014). These last authors clarify the doubts that existed about the identity of B. rissodominguezi and B. columbina, confirming that they are different species by using molecular methods. The finding of a specimen on the Catalan coast of Mataró (Barcelona) represents the second report of the species for the Mediterranean Sea.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Berghia columbina
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:
This chart displays the observation probability for Berghia columbina based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Berghia columbina" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 04/10/2013, Accessed: 24/11/2017 at (

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