Flabellina pedata

Flabellina pedata (Montagu, 1815)

Flabellina pedata by Enric Madrenas
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: Flabellinoidea  Bergh, 1889
Family: Flabellinidae  Bergh, 1889
Genus: Flabellina  Voigt, 1834
Species: Flabellina pedata (Montagu, 1815) [Doris]


  • Coryphella pedata (Montagu, 1815)
  • Doris pedata Montagu, 1815
  • Eolis landsburgi Alder & Hancock, 1846
  • Coryphella landsburgii (Alder & Hancock, 1846)

This aeolidacean typically measures 10-15 mm in length although there have been reports of 40 mm specimens. The body is quite transparent and has a pink-purplish overall color, also in the head, the rhinophores, oral and propodials palps. The rhinophores are simple, without lamellae and have an iridescent white tip. Eyes are located on the base of the rhinophores. Oral palps are of the same length than the rhinophores and also have an iridescent white tip. The cerata are grouped in 6-7 groups on each side of the dorsum and grow directly from the body of the animal forming groups of 2 or 3 cerata each. The digestive gland in the cerata is coloured light brown, dark brown, orange or red depending on the specimens. The genital opening is located below the first group of cerata on the right or the body. The foot is transparent.

This aeolidacean lives on hydrarians in dark shallow vertical walls. It has been cited on several genus of hydroids and that it presumably eats like the sertularid Abietinaria, the plumularid Aglaophenia or the athecate Eudendrium, over which it usually the spawn.


  • Flabellina derived of Latin Flabellum, meaning “fan”.
  • Pedata, refers to the cerata, that are joined at their base, hand-like.

This is one of the most common nudibranchs in European waters. This species of aeolidacean is distributed throughout the Mediterranean both in Eastern and Western basins, and along the European Atlantic continental coasts to Norway on the North, the British Isles and the Açores. We only know one report of this species at the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria; 2/09/2016, Jose Juan Calderín Peñate, pers. comm.). In the Iberian Peninsula it has been recorded in all their coasts, as well as all along the Catalan coast.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Flabellina pedata (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: Flabellina pedata

    Cantabria: Hidalgo (1916), Ros (1975), Ortea (1977c). Galicia: Ortea (1977c), Urgorri and Besteiro (1983, 1984), Rolán (1983). Portugal: De Oliveira (1895), Hidalgo (1916), Nobre (1932), García-Gómez et al. (1991), Calado et al. (1999, 2003), Muzavor and Morenito (1999), Malaquias and Morenito (2000). Andalucía (Atl.): García-Gómez (1984a), Cervera and García-Gómez (1986). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1982, as Coryphella sp., 1983, 2002), García-Gómez et al. (1989), Sánchez-Moyano et al. (2000), Wirtz and Debelius (2003). Andalucía (Med.): Luque (1983, 1986), Templado, Luque and Moreno (1988), Sánchez Tocino, Ocaña and García (2000a), Ocaña et al. (2000), Peñas et al. (in press). Levante: Fez (1974), Templado (1982b, 1983, 1984), Ballesteros (1985), Ballesteros et al. (1986). Catalunya: Vicente (1964), Ros (1975, 1978b, 1985a), Ros & Altimira (1977), Ballesteros (1980, 1984, 1985), Altimira et al. (1981), Pereira & Ballesteros (1982), Huelin & Ros (1984), M@re Nostrum [Cala Aiguafreda (Begur) 4/2000, Mar Menuda (Tossa de Mar) 10/1999 y 11/2000]. Citada como Coryphella excepto M@re Nostrum. Baleares: Ros (1978), Ballesteros (1981a), Templado (1982a), Ballesteros, Álvarez and Mateo (1986), Dekker (1986), Wirtz and Debelius (2003). Azores: Gosliner (1994a), Wirtz (1998), Ávila et al. (1998), Ávila (2000), Malaquias (2001), Wirtz and Debelius (2003).

    General: Brown & Picton, 1979:20; Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:169[P]; Fez Sanchez, 1974:100; Hayward, Wigham, & Yonow, 1990:724; Hunnam & Brown, 1975:154; Luque, 1983:69; Nordsieck, 1972:72; O'Donoghue, 1929:751; Perrone, 1986a:34; Picton, 1978:88; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:421; Riedl, 1983:325; Schmekel, 1970:140; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:187[P]; Thompson, 1976a:[P]; 1988:254; Thompson & Brown, 1976:145; 1984:112[P]; Vicente, 1963a:178; 1967:161; 1981:79; Wagele & Schminke, 1987:[P] as Coryphella pedata Picton & Morrow, 1994:96[P] as Flabellina pedata

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


        Western Mediterranean:4 Stars
        Eastern Mediterranean:4 Stars
        Atlantic Ocean:2 Stars
This chart displays the observation probability for Flabellina pedata
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) "Flabellina pedata" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 17/05/2012, Accessed: 23/10/2017 at (http://opistobranquis.info/en/MVCii)

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