Facelinopsis marioni

Facelinopsis marioni (Vayssière, 1888)

Facelinopsis marioni by Enric Madrenas










































Facelinopsis marioni  (Vayssière, 1888)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 139918).

  • Facelina marioni Vayssière, 1888

Specimens of this species reach about 10 mm in length. Almost the entire body is translucent with a pink hue. The dorsum is crossed by a white longitudinal line that reaches the end of the tail from the head. In front of the rhinophores there are often some small irregular white spots, which may also form a discontinuous line on both sides of the body, right below the insertion of the rhinophores. Oral palps are long and pink, with a white-pigmented tip. The rhinophores are also pink and have white tips, having about 8-10 lamellae in adults, although juveniles may lack them. There are 4-5 groups of cerata that remain fairly close together, almost without apparent separation but between the first and second group, where the peculiar genital papilla is located. The first two groups of cerata have 4-5 rows. The digestive gland inside the cerata is brown and the anterior surface of the cerata is white. Between the first and second group of cerata, on the right side, there is a curious structure that Vayssière, in his original description of 1888, already understood it was some kind of genital structure: it is the penial sheet, coloured pink, wide and festooned, with two digitations at their tips. The foot, also coloured pink, widens towards the front end, but without forming labial palps.

Although this is a species that is not a rare finding in well-lit rock surfaces with abundant algae, its biology and eating habits are almost unknown. It presumably feeds on hydrozoans as the other species of Facelinidae. Due to the shape of the penial sheet, observation of the reproductive behaviour of two individuals can be very interesting.


  • Facelina: means “lined face”.
  • -opsis“: is a suffix referred to “small” or “tiny”. In this case Facelinopsis means “small Facelina” o “small lined face”, but we must state that , according to Perrier, suffix “-opsis” implies “similar to”.
  • “marioni”: devoted to Antoine-Fortuné Marion, (1846-1900) a french zoologyst and curator of the Marseille’s Natural History Museum. “Nous sommes hereux de dédier à notre maître, le professeur Marion”, in “Recherches zoologiques et anatomiques sur les Mollusques opistobranches du golfe de Marseille Deuxième partie. Annales du Musée de Marseille. Tome III, 1886-1889. Marseille.”

This is a species whose distribution is limited to the western Mediterranean, having been cited in the coasts of Corsica and, in the Iberian Peninsula, in the Huelva coast, in the Strait of Gibraltar, on the Mediterranean coast of Andalusia and Catalonia (Costa Brava).

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

References for the species: Facelinopsis marioni

    Andalucía (Atl.): Megina (unpubl. data). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1983, 2002), García-Gómez et al. (1989). Andalucía (Med.): Luque (1983, 1986), Ocaña et al. (2000). Catalunya: Ros (1975, 1978), Ballesteros (1980, 1985), Pereira (1980), Pereira & Ballesteros (1982), M@re Nostrum [La Foradada (Portbou) 10/1999, Cova del Tamariu (Roses) 10/1999, Els Ullastres (Llafranc) 7/1999, Es Xiribic (Palamós) 8/2000].

    General: Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:211[P]; Nordsieck, 1972:79; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:394; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:216; Vicente, 1967:157

    Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007 & 2016, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.

Similar species
Flabellina affinis, body less translucent and much bigger, ringed rhinophores and cerata from each group growing from a common base or stalk.


    Western Mediterranean:3 out of 5 stars
    Eastern Mediterranean:0 out of 5 stars
    Atlantic Ocean:0 out of 5 stars

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Facelinopsis marioni based on our own records.

More pictures


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    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:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2021) "Facelinopsis marioni" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 17/05/2012. Accessed: 15/01/2021. Available at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/204Nb)

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