Elysia manriquei

Elysia manriquei  Ortea & Moro, 2009

Elysia manriquei @ Taliarte, Gran Canaria 27-05-2014 in 6m by Pablo Samper Méndez

Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Superorder: Panpulmonata  Jörger et al., 2010
Order: Sacoglossa  von Ihering, 1876
Suborder: Plakobranchacea  Jensen, 1996
Superfamily: Plakobranchoidea  J.E. Gray, 1840
Family: Plakobranchidae  J.E. Gray, 1840
Genus: Elysia  Risso, 1818
Species: Elysia manriquei  Ortea & Moro, 2009

Body up to 30 mm in length, colored olive green (also in juveniles), covered with small conical papillae associated with some white spots, and black spots of two types, some simple and others in the form of rings around the glandular orifices. The density of the spots varies from one specimen to another. The inner side of parapodia is yellowish green, with no black spots (but in the pericardial area, which is olive green with black dots), and forms three lobes on either side of the animal, the first one behind the head, the second one in the middle of the body and the third one midway between the second and the tip of the tail. All studied specimens, both juveniles and adults, have the same number of parapodial lobes. The foot is short (about one fifth of the length of the animal) and is well-defined, being separated from the base of the parapodia by a transversal groove, its sides are parallel and the front edge is somewhat split in the middle, while the tail is short and tappered. The rhinophores are located in the anterior third of the head, are furrowed on the sides and quite rolled, so its appearance is almost cylindrical. They are relatively small and have white papillae and black spots similar to the ones on the rest of the body. The eyes, consisting of a black dot located within a crystal sphere, have roughly the same size as the black dots that decorate the body, and are located right behind each rhinophore. The anal papilla is located on the right side of the body, at the beginning of the parapodium, where there may be a black subcutaneous spot.

It is supposed to feed on the algae Caulerpa racemosa var. peltata and Caulerpa webbiana (on which it is a cryptic species). Spawn is laid on the algae it feeds on, and consists of yellowish cord with 85 micron capsules, each containing a small yellowish egg (about 55 microns in diameter) with orange extracapsular food. The animal usually directs its tail up, so it looks like another parapodial lobe. When the animal is feeding on the algae it sometimes unwinds the parapodial lobes and crushes against alga, where it becomes virtually undetectable. The animals emit a small cloud of a bluish white substance when disturbed, presumably as self-defense.


  • Elysia. It is a girl’s name of Latin origin, derived from the word Elysium, which in mythology is the home of the blessed, known as the “Elysian fields”. The name Elysia also means “God’s oath” in Hebrew. Frieder Sauer comments that Elysia means heavenly.
  • Manriquei, in honor of César Manrique Cabrera (1919-1992), painter, sculptor, architect and artist from the Spanish island of Lanzarote, which combined his work with the defense of the environmental values of the Canary Islands, seeking harmony between the art and nature as a creative space.

Elysia manriquei is relatively common in the localities where it has been sampled: Órzola and Arrecife (Lanzarote, Canary Islands) and Gando and Taliarte (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands), having been found at different times throughout the year.

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


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

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas et al. (2012-2017) "Elysia manriquei" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 18/09/2016, Accessed: 23/11/2017 at (http://opistobranquis.info/en/UYpKt)

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