Amphorina pallida

Amphorina pallida (Alder & Hancock, 1842)

Amphorina pallida @ Salcombe, Devon, England. 18 May 1975 by Bernard Picton










































Amphorina pallida  (Alder & Hancock, 1842)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 423079).

  • Eolis pallida Alder & Hancock, 1842: 35–36.
  • Eolis minuta Alder & Hancock, 1842: 36.
  • Eolis picta Alder & Hancock, 1845: fam. 3, pl. 33.
  • Eolis flavescens Friele & Hansen, 1876: 78.
  • Eubranchus pallidus (Alder & Hancock, 1842): Edmunds & Kress 1969: 893–896,
    text figs 1, 3–6.
  • Amphorina pallida (Alder & Hancock, 1842): Martynov 1998: 775.
  • Galvina flavescens (Friele & Hansen, 1876) 
  • Galvina pallida (Alder & Hancock, 1842)
  • Galvina picta (Alder & Hancock, 1847)

With a length of up to 25 mm the body is narrow and shows wide colour variations from completeley pale specimens with no spots on body or cerata, to specimens with many small rounded reddish orange or brown pigment spots covering both the body and cerata, but they never show any pigment on the tail. The rhinophores are smooth and 1.5–2 times longer than the oral tentacles. The upper part of both rhinophores and oral tentacles is commonly covered with white relatively dense spots and, in some specimens, with dense orange-reddish pigment, but without forming any pigment rings. Cerata are distributed in 7-9 groups with up to 5 cerata each,  relatively long, very broad, at times showing distinctly attenuated apexes that could be sprayed with white spots. The digestive gland inside the cerata is relatively broad without distinct short branches. The foot is narrow, anteriorly without foot corners.

Can be separated from other species of the genus by the following traits:

  • Small distinct rounded brownish orange pigment spots on the body (in spotted forms), and small brownish orange spots on the cerata.
  • Absence of any colours on the tail, both in spotted and pale specimens.
  • Absence of blackish body pigmentation or uniform orange or yellow colouration, typical of A.andra.
  • Absence of light pinkish subapical ring on cerata, typical of A.viriola.
  • Absence of a punctuated white line on external foot edges, typical of A.linensis.
  • Upper part of the rhinophores and oral tentacles are commonly covered with white relatively dense spots, also with orange-reddish spots on pigmented specimens.
  • Cerata often highly swollen, with distinctly attenuated apices, differently from those of A.linensis.
  • Up to 4 anterior rows of cerata.

The adults may feed on the hydroid Tubularia, however juveniles usually take smaller calyptoblastic hydroids such as Obelia dichotoma, which often grows on Tubularia, and Halecium species.. At the Swedish west coast it is found living below the halocline.


  • Pallida. From Latin “pallidus”, pale, livid.

In the Atlantic Ocean there are reports from the British isles, Norway, the Netherlands, France and in Galicia (NW Spain) which is the European Southern-most record to date; also from the American New England coast. Some references to its presence in Mediterranean shores should be revised, we have found none in literature.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Amphorina pallida
: 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 Amphorina pallida based on our own records.

More pictures


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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2023) "Amphorina pallida" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 18/09/2014. Accessed: 30/09/2023. Available at (

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