Eubranchus tricolor

Eubranchus tricolor  Forbes, 1838

Eubranchus tricolor by Bernard Picton
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: Fionoidea  J.E. Gray, 1857
Family: Fionidae  Gray, 1857
Genus: Eubranchus  Forbes, 1838
Species: Eubranchus tricolor  Forbes, 1838

Taxonomic note: The phylogenetic analyses performed by Cella et al. (2016) revealed that the traditional Tergipedidae family is polyphyletic and belongs to a larger monophyletic clade including members of the traditional families Eubranchidae, Fionidae and Calmidae; this was an unexpected result, since the validity of these taxa and their distinctness from the Tergipedidae was never questioned before. They proposed to join the families Tergipedidae, Eubranchidae, Calmidae and Fionidae under the name of Fionidae.

The Mediterranean specimens identified as Eubranchus tricolor are clearly not conspecific to the Atlantic specimens, but they are quite similar to Eubranchus farrani form “D”, although they could be a new unidentified species (see pictures below).


  • Egalvina viridula (Bergh, 1873)
  • Eolis amethystina Alder & Hancock, 1845 
  • Eolis tricolor (Forbes, 1838) 
  • Eolis violacea Alder & Hancock, 1844 
  • Galvina tricolor (Forbes, 1838) 
  • Galvina viridula Bergh, 1873 




  • Eubranchus. From Greek “eu”, good, well + “bragchia”, gill.
  • Tricolor. From Latin “tres”, three + “color”, colour.

Basically an Atlantic species. Mediterranean specimens, despite the high similarity, are probably a different species, hence we label them as Eubranchus cf. tricolor.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Eubranchus tricolor (z-200).
: 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: Eubranchus tricolor

    Galicia: Urgorri and Besteiro (1983).

    General: Brown & Picton, 1979:26; Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:177[P]; Edmunds & Kress, 1969:880; Fez Sanchez, 1974:102; Hayward, Wigham, & Yonow, 1990:722; Heppell, 1964a:413; Hunnam & Brown, 1975:156; ICZN, 1966b:87; Just & Edmunds, 1985:114[P]; Lemche, 1964b:43; McMillan, 1968:70; Nordsieck, 1972:75; Picton & Morrow, 1994:118[P]; Pruvot-Fol, 1951:66; 1954b:416; Rivest & Harris, 1976:145; Thompson, 1976a:[P]; 1988:298[P]; Thompson & Brown, 1976:164; 1984:135[P]

    Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.


        Western Mediterranean:0 Stars
        Eastern Mediterranean:0.0 Stars
        Atlantic Ocean:0.0 Stars
This chart displays the observation probability for Eubranchus tricolor
based on our own records.

More pictures


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.

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Eubranchus tricolor" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/09/2014, Accessed: 17/10/2017 at (

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