Tenellia miniostriata

Tenellia miniostriata (Schmekel, 1968)

Tenellia miniostriata by Miquel Pontes
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 Gray, 1857
Family: Fionidae  Gray, 1857
Genus: Tenellia A. Costa, 1866
Species: Tenellia miniostriata (Schmekel, 1968)

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. Within Fionidae, obtained results demonstrated the need of developing a new classification as previous classifications (for instance, separating Catriona, Cuthona and Trinchesia as distinct taxa) were inconsistent with the resulting phylogeny. Analyses also recover a clade (Tenellia) that includes all members of the genera Tenellia, Trinchesia, Phestilla, Catriona and the majority of described and undescribed Cuthona species. New genera Rubramoena, Abronica and Tergiposacca are proposed to group other species. This molecular study also suggests that Fionidae is rich in cryptic species complexes, difficult to separate by traditional taxonomic characters, and previously undetected species diversity.

Ortea et al. (2001) made the redescription of Cuthona pallida (Eliot, 1906) thanks to specimens collected in the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. Given the similarity of this species in morphology, coloration and radular structure to the Mediterranean species Cuthona miniostriata (Schmekel, 1968) consider that the latter could be synonymous with Cuthona pallida. However, given the scarce references to the presence of both species, we still think this subject is not settled so, for now, we decided to keep this species as described by Schmekel in 1968, as is also indicated in WoRMS and CLEMAM databases, but updating the generic name according to the work by Cella et al. (2016).


  • Trinchesia miniostriata Schmekel, 1968
  • Cuthona miniostriata (Schmekel, 1968)

This is a small sized aeolidacean because specimens rarely exceed 5 mm in length. The body is whitish due to an opaque white pigment that covers most of the body, including cerata. The detail that clearly identifies this species are the reddish bands that cross the dorsal region of the rhinophores and oral tentacles. The middle area of the longitudinal rhinophoric band becomes a ring fully surrounding the rhinophore. On the base of the rhinophores, these reddish bands may continue back down to the base of the first cerata. The tip of the rhinophores and oral tentacles are white and semitransparent. The eyes are clearly visible on the rear base of the rhinophores. The cerata are short, somewhat globose and with a rounded end; they are coloured white but the brown or slightly reddish digestive gland can be appreciated at the cerata base. There are 5-6 well separated groups of cerata on each side of the body each with only 2-4 cerata. In some less pigmented white specimens a cnidosac can be observed at the tip of the cerata. The foot is narrow and semitransparent, slightly widened in its anterior zone but without forming propodial palps.

This is a species that lives among algae with epibiont hydrarians but which, because of its rarity, very little data is known on its biology. Schmekel & Portmann (1982) indicate that this species feeds on an athecate hydrozoan of the genus Bougainvillia. The same authors cite that the spawn are ellipsoidal or kidney-shaped and contain whitish or slightly pinkish eggs about 80 microns in diameter.


  • Miniostriata. From “minio”, derived from the Latin “minium” a bright red dust employed as a pigment in glass making and as a paint to cover iron parts and prevent rusting + “Striata”, from Latin “striatus” striated, grooved.

Cuthona miniostriata is known only from the western Mediterranean: it has been cited in the Gulf of Naples, in Banyuls (Schmekel & Portmann, 1982) and in the Levantine and Catalan coasts of the Iberian Peninsula (Cervera et al. 2004).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Tenellia miniostriata (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: Tenellia miniostriata


        Western Mediterranean:1 Stars
        Eastern Mediterranean:0 Stars
        Atlantic Ocean:0 Stars
This chart displays the observation probability for Tenellia miniostriata
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) "Tenellia miniostriata" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 11/09/2014, Accessed: 22/09/2017 at (http://opistobranquis.info/en/HjCgt)

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