Eubranchus doriae

Eubranchus doriae (Trinchese, 1874)

Eubranchus doriae by Bernard Picton










































Capellinia doriae   Trinchese, 1874

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 729926).

Taxonomic note: The phylogenetic analyses performed by Cella et al. (2016) revealed that the traditional Tergipedidae family is polyphyletic and belongs to a larger monophyletic clade including members of the traditional families Eubranchidae, Fionidae and Calmidae; this was an unexpected result, since the validity of these taxa and their distinctness from the Tergipedidae was never questioned before. They proposed to join the families Tergipedidae, Eubranchidae, Calmidae and Fionidae under the name of Fionidae. This decision has been reinterpreted and completed in the paper by Korshunova et al. (2017) because it obviated evident morphological and molecular aspects.

Since the middle of the XXth. century, Capellinia doriae (original name of Eubranchus doriae) has been considered a species synonymous with E. capellinii (Edmunds & Kress, 1969; Thompson & Brown, 1984; Thompson, 1988; Picton & Morrow, 1994; Caballer, 2002) or even confused with E. cingulatus (Edmunds & Kress, 1969; Ortea, 1978; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982). However, the original description of Eubranchus capellinii (as Tergipes capellinii) and the accompanying color plate (Trinchese, 1879), are clear enough to differentiate it from the rest of the Atlantic species of the genus. Hence, Caballer, Ortea & Canteras (2010) using specimens captured in Cantabria, the Algarve coast (Portugal) and the Murcian coast (Spanish Mediterranean) propose reinstating the species E. capellinii as valid and different from Capellinia doriae (Caballer, Ortea & Canteras, 2010), a position that we support.


  • Capellinia doriae Trinchese, 1874 (original)
  • Tergipes doriae (Trinchese, 1874)

A size of 15 mm is reported in the original description of the species. The body is stylized, semitransparent with brown or greenish spots on the back and cerata. There are yellowish or orange scores that can accumulate between the first two groups of cerata forming a somewhat darker spot. Long and narrow oral palps and rhinophores, of approximately the same length and usually stained brown in their middle third, with a whitish tip. There are 6-8 groups of cerata on both sides of the back, each with 1-3 cerates. From the second group of ceratas, the groups on one side and the other are usually alternated, not symmetrical. The cerata are elongated and have 2 to 3 rings of tubercles protruding slightly . The apical tubercle is semitransparent and it is usually bordered at its base by a brown ring. The cerata are hyaline transparent and the brownish digestive gland is observed inside, reaching the base of the apical tubercle. The foot is widened anteriorly and the tail is long and sharp.

Very little is known about this species, which can easily be confused with other similar species of the same genus, such as E. vittatus and E. capellinii, with which it has been frequently synonimized in the literature. It has been reported that on the British coast it feeds on the hydrozoan Kinchenpaueria similis (Picton & Morrow, 2016).


  • Eubranchus, from Greek, meaning “true gills”.
  • Doriae. Dedicated to the Marquis Giacomo Doria (1840-1913), Italian naturalist, herpetologist and politician. Founder and director of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale at Genoa in 1867, that is now called Museo di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria in his memory. In 1891 he was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society of Italy.

Originally described for the waters of the Gulf of Genoa (Italy), it has also been reported in the Mediterranean: in Croatian waters, in the lagoon of Thau (France) and on the Catalan coast. In the Atlantic there are reports of the species at different locations in the British Isles (Picton & Morrow, 2016). However, both Mediterranean and Atlantic records should be confirmed by detailed morphological studies, given the similarity with other species of the same genus.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Eubranchus doriae
: 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 Eubranchus doriae based on our own records.

More pictures


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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, M., Madrenas, E. & Pontes, M. (2023) "Eubranchus doriae" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 05/10/2013. Accessed: 27/02/2024. Available at (

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