Armina tigrina

Armina tigrina (Rafinesque, 1814)

Armina tigrina by João Pedro Silva

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 and Morton, 1984
Parvorder: Euarminida Odhner, 1939
Superfamily: Arminoidea Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923 (1841)
Family: Arminidae Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923 (1841)
Genus: Armina Rafinesque, 1814
Species: Armina tigrina Rafinesque, 1814


  • Diphyllidia lineata Otto, 1820
  • Pleurophyllidia cuvieri Meckel, 1823 (synonym)
  • Pleurophyllidia undulata Meckel, 1816

This is a large arminacean species that can reach over 10 cm in length. Like the other species of the genus, the body has a triangular contour and a pointed tail. The back of the animal has a dark gray background decorated with 30 to 40 whitish longitudinal streaks corresponding to the somewhat irregular ridges on the mantle. The mantle edge is usually white. The head is protected by a pink head shield whose upper edge is black and extends to both sides on two structures as palps. The rhinophores are small and dark but for the white tip, joined at their base, possessing vertical lamellae in the distal zone of the organ, as in other species of the genus. The edges of the mantle have numerous holes likely aligned with glands that expel defensive substances. Gills are located below the mantle, in the front area, in the form of whitish, very thin and tight longitudinally arranged lamellae; behind them are the lateral lamellae, between 45 and 55, they are thicker, brown and follow a somewhat oblique direction to the longitudinal axis of the body, reaching almost the caudal zone of the mantle. The genital opening is on the end of a bulging papilla in the right side of the body, right in the area between the gills and the beginning of the lateral lamellae. The anal papilla is less apparent that the genital, it is also located in the right side of the body, approximately at 2/3 of the length of the body. The foot is wide and pink although its dorsal area is dark gray, with whitish edge, like the edge of the mantle. In the posterior area of the foot an elongated groove corresponding to the pedia gland can be observed.

Very little is known about the biology of Armina tigrina which, like other species of the genus, lives on sandy or muddy bottoms, from about 10 m depth, into which it can bury itself with the help of the head shield. Mainly nocturnal in habits, during daylight hours it is buried in the sediment. It possibly feeds on pennatulaceans (see another similar Pacific species, Armina californica, photographed feeding on a pennatulacean Ptilosarcus gurneyi ( ), and this Emmy nominated video filmed on location in Puget Sound near Anacortes, WA, by Champ Williams:



  • Armina. First name for girls of Old German origin, meaning “soldier” or “warrior”.
  • Tigrina, related to a tiger.

This species lives mainly in the western Mediterranean basin, as it has been cited on the coasts of Sicily, Naples and Gulf of Portofino (Italy), in the Mediterranean coast of France (Banyuls, Cros de Cagnes), Spanish Costa del Sol, levantine Iberian coast and Catalonia. Outside the Mediterranean it has been recorded in Portugal and off the coast of Senegal. In the Catalan coast it seems to be a relatively common species in some commercial trawlers fishing grounds like Les Quaranta or La Planassa, located off Blanes at 70-140 m depth, and offshore the Ebro river delta at 10-20 m deep.

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

References for the species: Armina tigrina

    Portugal: De Oliveira (1895), Nobre (1938-40). Both records as Pleurophyllidia undulata. Andalucía (Med.): Ocaña et al. (2000), Witz and Debelius (2003). Levante: Templado et al. (2002). Catalunya: Ballesteros (1983), Domènech et al. (2006).

    General: Abbott, 1954:83; Ballesteros, 1981:93; Barletta, 1981:93; Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:149[P]; Eyster, 1980:591; Marcus & Marcus, 1966:191; Nordsieck, 1972:70; Perrone, 1986a:31; Pruvot-Fol, 1937:57; 1954b:344[P]; Riedl, 1983:325; Thompson, Cattaneo, & Wong, 1990:402; White, 1955:184

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


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

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Armina tigrina" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 28/08/2012, Accessed: 24/11/2017 at (

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