Haminoea navicula

Haminoea navicula (da Costa, 1778)

Haminoea navicula @ Etang de Thau, France by Pascal Girard




































Haminoea navicula  (da Costa, 1778)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 140075).

  • Bulla cornea Lamarck, 1822
  • Bulla folliculus Menke, 1853
  • Bulla navicula da Costa, 1778 (original)

This is a species of cefalaspidean has been cited to reach up to 70 mm long, although in most cases the animals measure between 25 and 35 mm. The color of the animals is quite dark, gray or almost black, due to the abundant spots of these colors scattered throughout the body, together with white and orange spots. The head shield has a trapezoidal shape, projecting backwards into two cephalic lobes partially covering the front side of the shell. The Hancock organs are located on both sides of the head shield, they have sensory mission and a perfoliate structure with 12-16 lamellae. The eyes are clearly visible in two depigmented areas on the back of the head shield, usually separated by a conspicuous dark spot. The parapodial lobes are well developed, overlapping dorsally and covering more than half of the shell. The upper edge of the parapodial lobes is usually pigmented in darker black. The mantle posterior lobe is rounded and it is expanded forward, also covering part of the back of the shell. The foot is colored in a slightly light shade than the rest of the body and has plenty of white, black and orange spots. The shell is globose, thin, fragile, semitransparent, and its outer surface has fine spiral grooves. It is covered by a thin orange-brown periostracum. The shell measures approximately half the length of the animal.

This species, like others of the same genus, lives in sandy or muddy substrates in intertidal environments, in shallow, coastal lagoons and estuaries with abundant green algae (Ulva sp. and Enteromorpha sp. and meadows of the seagrass Zostera noltii (Malaquías & Cervera, 2006). In these substrates it usually lives buried during the day, its activity mostly nocturnal. H.navicula is capable of producing secondary metabolites of haminol type (haminol-A and haminol-B) that they accumulate in the external tissues of the head shield, the parapodial lobes and the caudal lobe. These haminols are released in case of stress or danger, acting as warning pheromones and advising other animals to escape (Marín et al. 1999). The spawn is a slightly gelatinous semitransparent coiled ribbon of about 15 mm wide and up to 70 mm long with whitish eggs of about 145 microns of diameter aligned in rows (Malaquías et al. 2006).


  • Navicula. Small boat.

This is a species is distributed all along the European Atlantic coasts, from Ireland to the Iberian Peninsula, and the Mediterranean. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been cited in the Bay of Biscay, Galicia, Portugal, Strait of Gibraltar and all the Mediterranean coast (Cervera et al. 2004). It is also found in the Black Sea (Talavera et al., 1987). In the Catalan coast it has been cited in Cadaques, L’Estartit, Medes islands, Arenys de Mar, L’Ampolla and Alfacs Bay (Ebro delta).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Haminoea navicula
: 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 monthly observation probability for Haminoea navicula based on our own records.

More pictures


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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, M., Madrenas, E. & Pontes, M. (2023) "Haminoea navicula" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 11/09/2014. Accessed: 23/09/2023. Available at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/?p=14027)

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