Onchidoris albonigra

Onchidoris albonigra (Pruvot-Fol 1951)

Onchidoris albonigra by Enric Madrenas

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: Onchidoridoidea  J.E. Gray, 1827
Family: Onchidorididae  J.E. Gray, 1827
Genus: Onchidoris  de Blainville, 1816
Species: Onchidoris albonigra (Pruvot-Fol 1951)


  • Lamellidoris albonigra Pruvot-Fol, 1951

Specimens of this species are small and flattened, reaching no more than 6-7 mm in length. The background color of the body is whitish with numerous irregular black spots on the back giving it a dark tone. All the back is covered by small conical papillae, the outer ones may slightly exceed the body margin. A long and robust mantle spicules frame can be seen through the dorsum of the animal, central spicules are set transversely, the marginal ones set radially and among them there are obliquely set spicules. The white rhinophores are retractable, having 7-10 lamellae; the rhinophoric hole is smooth. The gill is composed by about 7 whitish gill leaves arranged in a circle, the interbranquial area is black, home of the anal opening and 2-3 papillae as the ones in the rest of the dorsum. Below the mantle margin, the tight marginal spicules can be seen by transparency. The foot is white but there is a patch of reddish-violet color due to the internal organs. The mouth is surrounded by a rounded lump or oral veil lacking any labial palps.

Nothing is known of this uncommon species biology, only that, as other species of this genus, lives under stones where encrusting sponges and bryozoans abound. Spawn is about 4 mm in diameter, and consists of an spiral of 2-3 turns; white eggs have about 125 microns in diameter, and apparently are laid one after another in an irregular helical path within the gelatinous frame of the spawn cord.


  • Onchidoris, tuberculate Doris.
  • Doris, a sea nymph in Greek mythology.
  • Albonigra, from Latin “alba” (white) and “nigra” (black).

Of all the species of the genus in European waters this is the easiest one to identify by the numerous black blotches on the back that give it a dark appearance. However it is one of the least known species because it is a rare finding. So far it is strictly of Mediterranean distribution, the type specimen of the original description by Pruvot-Fol came from Banyuls-sur-mer, only four more specimens have been cited in the Bay of Naples. In the Catalan coast it has been observed in Cadaqués and in some other location of the Costa Brava.

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

References for the species: Onchidoris albonigra

    Catalunya: Ballesteros (1980, 1985), Ortea & Ballesteros (1982), Domènech et al. (2002), Ballesteros (datos no publicados) [Cala Sant Antoni].

    General: Perrone, 1986a:25; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:118

    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 Onchidoris albonigra based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Onchidoris albonigra" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 29/08/2012, Accessed: 23/11/2017 at (http://opistobranquis.info/en/1HCSO)

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