Felimida purpurea

Felimida purpurea (Risso in Guérin, 1831)

Felimida purpurea @ Cala Montgó, L'Escala, Spain 5-03-2016 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: Euctenidiacea  Tardy, 1970
Infraorder: Doridacea  Thiele, 1931
Superfamily: Doridoidea  Rafinesque, 1815
Family: Chromodorididae  Bergh, 1891
Genus: Felimida  Ev. Marcus 1971
Species: Felimida purpurea (Risso in Guérin, 1831)

Taxonomic note: The European Atlantic and Mediterranean species of the genus Chromodoris and Hypselodoris have been reconsidered. After molecular analysis of the Chromodorididae performed by Johnson & Gosliner (2012, Traditional taxonomic groupings mask evolutionary history: A molecular phylogeny and new classification of the chromodorid nudibranchs. PLoS ONE 7(4): 33479) the Hypselodoris species have been included in the genus Felimare Ev. Marcus & Er. Marcus, 1967 and the Chromodoris species have been included in the genus Felimida Ev. Marcus, 1971.


  • Chromodoris purpurea (Risso in Guérin, 1831)
  • Doris albescens Schultz in Philippi, 1836
  • Doris piraini Vérany, 1846
  • Doris purpurea Risso in Guérin, 1831 (original)

The specimens of this species can grow up to 30-40 mm in length. This is one of the least pigmented species chromodorids since the body is white with a gold-yellow margin. Around the edge of the mantle, and inside the yellow margin, there are numerous irregularly shaped whitish glands, that can be appreciated by transparency, corresponding to the defensive MDFs. On the back there could also be a series of light pink blotches. The rhinophores are crimson or purple and have about 20 tightly set lamellae, the apex of the rhinophores is white, the sheath is relatively low, flat on its upper edge and colored white. The largest specimens can have up to 17 branchial leaves tightly set around the anal papilla. The branchial leaves are purple and consist of an axis or rachis with lamellae at both sides, alternatively large and small. The apex of the branchial leaves is white. The anal papilla is white or slightly pink. The foot stands far behind the mantle border and it has a yellow line along the border, from the central area to the tail.

This species lives on rocky infralittoral, under stones, or on coralline sponges. It feeds on several species of sponges, such as Phorbas tenacior or Spongionella pulchella. It is a common species.


  • Purpurea. Feminine of the Latin word “purpureo”. Coloured purple, violet, lilac.

This is an European distribution species that inhabits the whole Mediterranean Sea and close eastern Atlantic, from northern Europe to Cape Verde, having been cited also in Açores and Madeira. In the Iberian Coast it has been cited all along the coast, also in the Canaries and the Balearic islands. In the Catalan coast it has been located in different localities of the Costa Brava, Illes Formigues (Calella), Cala Sant Francesc and Blanes, among others.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Felimida purpurea (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: Felimida purpurea

    Cantabria: Ortea (1977c, as Glossodoris), Ortea and Peréz (1983), Ávila Escartín (1993). Galicia: Ortea (1977c), Urgori and Besteiro (1983), Otero and Trigo (1987). Portugal: De Oliveira (1895, as C. albescens), Nobre (1932, as C. albescens), García-Gómez et al. (1991), Calado et al. (1999, 2005), Muzavor and Morenito (1999), Malaquias and Morenito (2000). Andalucía (Atl.): Cervera and García-Gómez (1986). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1983), García-Gómez et al. (1989), García Gómez, Medina and Coveñas (1991). Andalucía (Med.): Luque (1983, 1986), Salas and Luque (1986), Templado, Luque and Moreno (1988), Schick (1998), Sánchez Tocino, Ocaña and García (2000a), Ocaña et al. (2000), Peñas et al. (in press). Levante: Templado (1982b, 1983, 1984), Ballesteros (1985), Ballesteros et al. (1986), Marín and Ros (1987), Templado et al. (2002). Catalunya: Altimira et al. (1981), Ballesteros (1980, 1985), Huelin & Ros (1984), Ávila (1993), Domènech et al. (2002, 2006), M@re Nostrum [Cala Rovellada (Colera) 1/2001]. Antes de 1984, citada como Glossodoris. Baleares: Ros (1975, as Glossodoris, 1985b), Ros and Gili (1985), Dekker (1986). Canarias: Pérez-Sánchez and Moreno (1990), Peréz-Sánchez et al. (1991), Malaquias (2000), Ortea et al. (2001, 2003). Madeira: Wirtz (1994, 1999), Malaquias et al. (2001). Azores: Gosliner (1990), Wirtz (1994, 1995a, 1998), Morton et al. (1998), Ávila et al. (1998), Ávila (2000), Malaquias (2001), Wirtz and Debelius (2003).

    General: Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:67[P]; Gosliner, 1990a:145[P]; Perrone, 1986a:30; 1993:66; Riedl, 1983:335; Sabelli, Giannuzzi-Savelli, & Bedulli, 1990:440; Schmekel, 1970:192; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:61[P]

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


        Western Mediterranean:2 Stars
        Eastern Mediterranean:2 Stars
        Atlantic Ocean:2 Stars
This chart displays the observation probability for Felimida purpurea
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) "Felimida purpurea" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 15/05/2012, Accessed: 24/03/2017 at (http://opistobranquis.info/en/RqLh9)

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