Okenia miramarae

Okenia miramarae  Ortea & Espinosa, 2001

Okenia miramarae @ Taliarte, Gran Canaria 23/03/2016 by José Juan Calderín Peñate
Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Superorder: Nudipleura  Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia  Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Euctenidiacea  Tardy, 1970
Infraorder: Doridacea  Thiele, 1931
Superfamily: Onchidoridoidea  J.E. Gray, 1827
Family: Goniodorididae  H. Adams & A. Adams, 1854
Genus: Okenia  Menke, 1830
Species: Okenia miramarae  Ortea & Espinosa, 2001

Species with a white opaque body, translucent on the periphery. All the body processes, the rhinophores and the gills have yellow or orange colored tips. In the anterior part of the body there is a cephalic veil with four appendages, two located in the anterior part, and two flanking the rhinophores by the outer side. At the sides of the body there are two or three appendages, the anterior ones are similar to those of the head, and two very long ones flanking the gill. In front of the gill there is an appendix of similar length to the ones on the front, arranged vertically on the body. The rhinophores are relatively long and have about eight lamellae on the posterior side, more evident in the basal part, and decreasing in size towards the apex, where they look like mere thickenings of the stem. The gill is composed by four unipinnate leaves coming out of three peduncles, since the two inner leaves are joined at the base and share the peduncle. Each branchial leaf has 5-6 spaced lamellae which do not reach the apex. Behind the gill there is a pinkish-purple spot.

Although its food source is unknown, it is feasible that this species feeds of small bryozoans like other species of Okenia. The spawn consists of a little mass of small white eggs, attached to the substrate. The long appendages that flank the gill are very characteristic for this species, and when the animal is moving they stretch and surpass the end of the tail. In general the whole body of the animal and its appendages stretch and look more stylized when it moves, and contract when it is at rest.


  • Okenia. In honor to Prof. Dr. Ludwig Gilbert Lorenz Oken, (1779-1851), German natural phylosopher, editor of the journal “Isis” and published of the book “Lehrbuch der Naturgeschichte”.
  • Miramarae, to the type locality for the species, Miramar quarter in La Habana, Cuba.

After its original description in Cuban waters, only three other reports are known, all in Taliarte, Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), where this species seems to be well established.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Okenia miramarae (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:0 Stars
        Eastern Mediterranean:0 Stars
        Atlantic Ocean:1 Stars
This chart displays the observation probability for Okenia miramarae
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) "Okenia miramarae" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 19/11/2016, Accessed: 23/04/2017 at (http://opistobranquis.info/en/IZk2r)

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