Trinchesia albopunctata

Trinchesia albopunctata (Schmekel, 1968)

Trinchesia albopunctata by Manuel Ballesteros










































Trinchesia albopunctata  Schmekel, 1968

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 750608).

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. Within Fionidae, obtained results demonstrated the need of developing a new classification as previous classifications (for instance, separating Catriona, Cuthona and Trinchesia as distinct taxa) were inconsistent with the resulting phylogeny. Analyses also recover a clade (Tenellia) that includes all members of the genera Tenellia, Trinchesia, Phestilla, Catriona and the majority of described and undescribed Cuthona species. New genera Rubramoena, Abronica and Tergiposacca are proposed to group other species. This molecular study also suggests that Fionidae is rich in cryptic species complexes, difficult to separate by traditional taxonomic characters, and a great previously undetected species diversity.
A few months later Korshunova et al. (2017) take up the study of the phylogeny of the Tergipedidae and using not only molecular data but also morphological and ontogenetic data they severely criticise the work by Cella et al. (2016), proposing to reinstate the families Calmidae, Eubranchidae, Fionidae, Tergipedidae, Cuthonidae, Cuthonellidae and Trinchesiidae, the latter being the most abundant in specific taxa. They also reinstate the genera Catriona, Diaphoreolis, Phestilla and Trinchesia that in the paper by Cella et al. (2016) had been included in the genus Tenellia. Korshunova et al. also describe a new genus, Zelentia that includes Z. pustulata (type species Eolis pustulataAlder & Hancock, 1854), Z. fulgens (MacFarland, 1966) and a new species from the Barents Sea, Z. ninel, indicating important p-distances among the three species (between 10.49% and 13.83%). All previous genera, Korshunova et al. (2017) consider them within the family Trinchesiidae. They also question the validity of the Rubramoena genus of Cella et al.
The position of WoRMS is conservative, maintaining the families Cuthonidae, Calmidae, Cuthonellidae, Eubranchidae, Fionidae, Pseudovermidae, Tergipedidae and Trinchesiidae within the superfamily Fionoidea. The European species that, until recently, were considered as Cuthona, WoRMS considers them within the genus Trinchesia, as T.albopunctata, T.caerulea, T.foliata, T.genovae, T.granosa, T.ilonae, T.miniostriata and T.ocellata. Rubramoena is also considered a valid genus in WoRMS. These opinions are those that we accept in OPK while no other more conclusive data are available.


  • Tenellia albopunctata (Schmekel, 1968)
  • Cuthona albopunctata (Schmekel, 1968)

Specimens of this species do not usually measure more than 5 mm in length. The body color is whitish, semi-transparent in the areas where there are no white spots or marks. These white spots can be found on the head, back, flanks and the cerata. White scores could show the same pattern. In the original description of the species (Schmekel 1968) the existence of small and fuzzy orange scores on the head and the back is stated. The oral tentacles are relatively short, the rhinophores are smooth; both are semi-transparent and have diffuse white spots except in its middle area where they have a band where no staining. The eyes are clearly visible in the rear base of each rhinophore, in a white-pigmented area. There are 6-7 cerata rows on each side of the body, but only the first 3 rows appear to form distinctly and separately from the other group. The cerata are slender, relatively short and rounded end. Inside the digestive gland it is coloured brown or reddish, the surface of the cerata have white scores or blotches, the apex is white or semitransparent. The foot is also semi-transparent and rounded in front, the tail is narrow and may have small white spots.

There is very little evidence of the presence of this species and therefore its biology. The few collected specimens have been observed among hydrarians growing in algae. Only Schmekel (1968) reported that the spawn is reniform or rolled in a semicircle with pink eggs of 100 micron diameter.


  • Trinchesia. In honor of Professor Salvatore Trinchese (1836-1897), Italian opisthobranchiologist, Professor of Zoology at Bologna University and successor of Paolo Panceri as Professor of Comparative Anatomy at the University of Napoli.
  • Albopunctata. From “Alba”, white in Latin + “punctata”, from French “ponctuée”, from Latin “punctatus”, punctuated, pointed.

This species is only known from its type locality, the island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, and from the Mediterranean Spanish coast, where it has been found in Catalonia and the Levantine coast of Murcia. Catalan findings are scarce, they were first reported by Ros (1975) in Estartit and Blanes, and after that it has only been found at L’Escala (2011), the Medes islands (2012) and Palamós (2014).

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

References for the species: Trinchesia albopunctata

Similar species
Rubramoena amoena is bigger, body covered with yellowish spots (not white) and with brown bands on rhinophores and oral tentacles.


    Western Mediterranean:1 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 Trinchesia albopunctata based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2021) "Trinchesia albopunctata" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 18/09/2012. Accessed: 03/08/2021. Available at (

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