Haminoea hydatis

Haminoea hydatis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Haminoea hydatis @ Malta by Constantino Mifsud

Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Clade: Euopisthobranchia  Jörger et al., 2010
Clade: Cephalaspidea  P. Fischer, 1883
Superfamily: Haminoeoidea  Pilsbry, 1895
Family: Haminoeidae  Pilsbry, 1895
Genus: Haminoea  Turton & Kingston in Carrington, 1830
Species: Haminoea hydatis (Linnaeus, 1758) [Bulla]


  • Bulla hydatis Linnaeus, 1758 (original)
  • Bulla hydatis var. globosa Jeffreys, 1867
  • Bulla modesta Risso, 1826 
  • Haminea elegans Leach, 1852 
  • Haminea gantesae Pruvot-Fol, 1953 
  • Haminoea cymoelium Monterosato, 1917
  • Haminoea pisum Delle Chiaje, 1841 
  • Haminoea subpellucida Adams H., 1869 

This species can measure up to 30 mm in length. The body color is light brown but the many dark spots scattered throughout the body give it gray tones. Cephalic lobe is well developed and has trapezoidal shape, projecting backwards into two short cephalic lobes. On both sides of the head shield there are the Hancock organs, of perfoliate structure and sensory mission. The eyes are clearly visible in two depigmented areas in the back of the head shield. The parapodial lobes are short and do not cover the shell. The shell can grow to half the body length, it is brittle and semitransparent and has a smooth surface, without ridges, and externally has a thin greenish-yellow periostracum. White and orange spots in the mantle tissue can be seen through the shell. Behind the shell, the caudal lobe is well developed.

This species lives in coastal soft substrates, sandy-muddy or sandy, in coastal lagoons and meadows of Caulerpa prolifera and Cymodocea nodosa. It is nocturnal, living buried in the sediment during the day (Talavera et al. 1987). It is herbivorous, feeding on benthic diatoms, green algae and various debris (Malaquías et al. 2004). It is capable of producing secondary metabolites of the type of haminols (haminol-1, 2, 5 and 6) that accumulate in the external tissues of the head shield, the parapodial lobes and the caudal lobe and that can be released as alarm pheromones in times of stress or danger to warn other animals so they can escape (Marín et al. 1999).


  • Hydatis. From Greek ὕδατι (hydati), water, watery.

This species is distributed along the European Atlantic coasts, from the British Isles to the Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores, and the Mediterranean Sea. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been cited in all coastal areas, both Atlantic and Mediterranean, also in the Balearic islands (Cervera et al. 2004). In Catalonia it has been observed in Llançà, Cadaques, L’Estartit, Medes Islands, Cala Aiguafreda, Vilassar de Mar, Vallcarca harbour (Garraf), Vilanova i la Geltrú, Cubelles, Calafell, Tarragona, L’Ampolla and Alfacs Bay (Ebro delta).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Haminoea hydatis
: 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 Haminoea hydatis based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Haminoea hydatis" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 13/06/2013, Accessed: 18/01/2018 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/kfqGF)

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