Tritoniopsis cincta

Tritoniopsis cincta (Pruvot-Fol, 1937)

Tritoniopsis cincta @ Argentario, Italy 25-05-2012 by Riccardo Delle Fratte
Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Superorder: Nudipleura  Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia  Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Dexiarchia  Schrödl, Wägele & Willan, 2001
Infraorder: Cladobranchia  Willan & Morton, 1984
Parvorder: Dendronotida  Odhner, 1934
Superfamily: Tritonioidea  Lamarck, 1809
Genus: Tritoniopsis  Eliot, 1905
Species: Tritoniopsis cincta (Pruvot-Fol, 1937)


  • Tritonia cincta Pruvot-Fol, 1937 (Original)

Maximum recorded body length of 16 mm. The body is high, translucent white or yellowish, with a quadrangular section, with a tapered tail. The dorsum is edged by a bright yellow marginal ridge that goes to the sides of the rhinophoral sheaths, which are quite high, and obliquely truncated, the upper border slightly widened and colored orange. The rhinophores are white and have a rather large club surrounded by bushy branches. The head has a yellow bordered oral veil with four white triangular digitations, the largest at the centre. There are two tall branched deep yellow or orange processes (gills) on each side of the body, widely separated from each other. There are always a few small red dots scattered on the dorsum. Foot anterior corners are rounded. The genital openings are on the right side of the body, slightly in front of the first gill, and the anus and the nephroproct slightly ahead of the second gill immediately below the notal margin.

Little is known from its biology. Most findings come from dredgings, but when directly observed at sea, it has been found in rocky bottoms covered by cnidarians on which it feeds (Cattaneo-Vietti et al., 1990). Its external aspect does not allow it to be confused with any other species. Despite its relatively stocky shape, it is extremely flexible.


  • Tritoniopsis derives from “Triton”, in Greek mythology the god of the sea, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, portrayed as having the head and trunk of a man and the tail of a fish. + “-opsis”, “similar to” o “shaped like”.
  • Cincta, from Latin “cinctus”, surrounded, encircled, in reference to the yellow ridge surrounding the notum.

Previously thought to be a strictly Mediterranean species, as it was first cited in Banyuls sur Mer, France (Pruvot-Fol, 1937) with some later reports from the Levantine coast of Spain (Templado et al. 1988), the Ligurian Sea and the Gulf of Naples, Italy (Cattaneo-Vietti et al. 1990), but a recent finding from Donostia (Spain, NE Atlantic Ocean; 28 october 2016 by José Manuel Cerviño Pousada in “World of Nudibranchs” Facebook group) considerable widens its distribution range.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Tritoniopsis cincta (z-200).
: GROC 2010-2011 : VIMAR
: Enric Madrenas : Manuel Ballesteros.
: João Pedro Silva : M@re Nostrum
: Bernard Picton : Other sources
: GBIF.ORG : Marine Regions


        Western Mediterranean:1 Stars
        Eastern Mediterranean:0 Stars
        Atlantic Ocean:1 Stars
This chart displays the observation probability for Tritoniopsis cincta
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:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas et al. (2012-2017) "Tritoniopsis cincta" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 01/11/2016, Accessed: 23/10/2017 at (

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