Tritonia hombergii

Tritonia hombergii Cuvier, 1803

Tritonia hombergii 85mm @ West Hurker, St. Abbs Head, Scotland
on 4-08-2007 in 13 metres
by Jim Anderson

Taxonomy
 

Superdomain

Biota  

 

Kingdom

Animalia  

 

Phylum

Mollusca  

 

Class

Gastropoda  

 

Subclass

Heterobranchia  

 

Infraclass

Euthyneura  

 

Subterclass

Ringipleura  

 

Superorder

Nudipleura  

 

Order

Nudibranchia  

 

Suborder

Cladobranchia  

 

Superfamily

Tritonioidea  

 

Family

Tritoniidae  

 

Genus

Tritonia  

 

Species

Tritonia hombergii  Cuvier, 1803

 
 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 416648).
Synonyms

  • Sphaerostoma jamesonii MacGillivray, 1843
  • Sphaerostoma jamiesoni MacGillivray, 1843 
  • Tritonia alba Alder & Hancock, 1854 
  • Tritonia atrofusca MacGillivray, 1843 
  • Tritonia conifera Dalyell, 1853 
  • Tritonia divaricata Dalyell, 1853 
  • Tritonia hombergi [sic] 
  • Tritonia pustulosa Deshayes, 1853

Description
It is the largest nudibranch in the Mediterranean as it can reach 20 cm in length. Its color varies from whitish to purplish brown or orange, depending on the size of the animal and its feeding, The whole body has rounded tubercles of various sizes. The frontal veil is bilobed and each lobe has numerous short fingerings. The rhinophores have digitiform extensions in their upper area and their base is surrounded by an elevated rhinophoric sheath with a widened and slightly scalloped upper edge. On the margin of the back there are 5-6 large gill branches directed upwards and smaller ones interspersed between them and projecting laterally. The foot is wide and whitish.

Biology
It lives at a certain depth, in Alcyonacean colonies. In the Atlantic coasts it feeds on Alcyonium digitatum and in the Mediterranean possibly Alcyonium palmatum. The spawn is a scalloped spirally wound cord with pink eggs of about 200 microns. When disturbed it produces a defensive secretion capable of irritating the human skin.

Etymology

  • Tritonia. The genus Tritonia is dedicated to Triton, in Greek mythology the god of the sea, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, portrayed as having the head and trunk of a man and the tail of a fish.
  • Homberg. Probably in honor of the German-Dutch-French chemist Wilhelm (Guillome) Homberg (1652-1715), because he is the only person known to have been active within natural history, possibly collected creatures when visiting relatives in Normandie.

Distribution
It is a frequent species in northern Europe, from the Faroe Islands, Norway and the British Isles, where it is very common. It is also known from the Iberian Peninsula and in the western Mediterranean, where it is considered rare. In Catalonia it has been observed in the commercial trawling grounds off Blanes and Vilanova i la Geltrú.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Tritonia hombergii
Sources:
: OBIS
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: GBIF.ORG
: OPK
: VIMAR
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions

References for the species: Tritonia hombergii

    Galicia: Rolán, Rolán-Álvarez and Ortea (1991). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1982). Levante: Hidalgo (1916). Catalunya: Ros (1975, 1978).

    General: Loyning, 1927:248; Odhner, 1926a:14 as Duvaucelia hombergii; Alder & Hancock, 1855:fam. 2, pl. 2[P]; Asbjornsen, 1853:337; Bergh, 1884:705; Brown & Picton, 1979:3; Colgan, 1914:195; Cuvier, 1804:255; 1817a:4; 1817c:27; Dalyell, 1853:271; Dekker, 1989:101; Fez Sanchez, 1974:65; Forbes & Hanley, 1850-1851:582; Grieg, 1913a:4; 1914:12; Hayward, Wigham, & Yonow, 1990:708; Hoffmann, 1926:9; Hunnam & Brown, 1975:136; ICZN, 1963:272; Jeffreys, 1869:67; Johnston, 1838a:114; Larsen, 1925:12; Leach, 1852:24; Loven, 1842:363; McMillan, 1968:69; Nordsieck, 1972:65; Odhner, 1939:44; Picton & Morrow, 1994:28[P]; Pruvot-Fol, 1937:65; 1954b:348; Sauvage, 1873:32; Swennen, 1987:36; Tchang Si, 1931a:107; Thompson, 1961b:1; 1976:[P]; 1976a:[P]; 1988:108; Thompson & Brown, 1976:58; 1984:11[P]; Vayssiere, 1901a:96; 1913a:251; Walton, 1908:238

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

Abundance

    Western Mediterranean:1 out of 5 stars
    Eastern Mediterranean:0 out of 5 stars
    Atlantic Ocean:2 out of 5 stars
Month

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Tritonia hombergii based on our own records.

Videos

Tritonia hombergii mating in Lochcarron, Scotland 23/04/2018
Video by Chris Rickard (from NE Atlantic Nudibranchs forum @ Facebook)

 

More pictures

Bibliography

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2020) "Tritonia hombergii" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 05/10/2013, Accessed: 06/06/2020 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/ImnHg)

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