Tritoniopsis cincta

Tritoniopsis cincta (Pruvot-Fol, 1937)

Tritoniopsis cincta @ Argentario, Italy 25-05-2012 by Riccardo Delle Fratte


  • Tritonia cincta Pruvot-Fol, 1937 (Original)

Maximum recorded body length of 16 mm. The body is high, translucent white or yellowish, with a quadrangular section, with a tapered tail. The dorsum is edged by a bright yellow marginal ridge that goes to the sides of the rhinophoral sheaths, which are quite high, and obliquely truncated, the upper border slightly widened and colored orange. The rhinophores are white and have a rather large club surrounded by bushy branches. The head has a yellow bordered oral veil with four white triangular digitations, the largest at the centre. There are two tall branched deep yellow or orange processes (gills) on each side of the body, widely separated from each other. There are always a few small red dots scattered on the dorsum. Foot anterior corners are rounded. The genital openings are on the right side of the body, slightly in front of the first gill, and the anus and the nephroproct slightly ahead of the second gill immediately below the notal margin.

Little is known from its biology. Most findings come from dredgings, but when directly observed at sea, it has been found in rocky bottoms covered by cnidarians on which it feeds (Cattaneo-Vietti et al., 1990). Despite its relatively stocky shape, it is extremely flexible.


  • Tritoniopsis derives from “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. + “-opsis”, “similar to” o “shaped like”.
  • Cincta, from Latin “cinctus”, surrounded, encircled, in reference to the yellow ridge surrounding the notum.

Previously thought to be a strictly Mediterranean species, as it was first reported in Banyuls sur Mer, France (Pruvot-Fol, 1937) with some later reports from the Levantine coast of Spain (Templado et al. 1988; Moreno & Barrajón, 2012), the Ligurian Sea and the Gulf of Naples, Italy (Cattaneo-Vietti et al. 1990), but a recent finding from Donostia (Spain, NE Atlantic Ocean; 28 october 2016 by José Manuel Cerviño Pousada in “World of Nudibranchs” Facebook group) and another one in the Adriatic, at Due Sorelle, Monte Conero, Italy by Marco Buoncompagni (2017) considerable widens its distribution range. A finding in May 2020 at Racó d’en Bofill, Cadaqués by Anja Mares is the first report for Catalonia.

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

Similar species
Duvaucelia odhneri, very similar but body completely white or grey, lacking the yellow border on the rhinophoric sheaths, nor other colour traits.


    Western Mediterranean: ★☆☆☆☆
    Eastern Mediterranean: ☆☆☆☆☆
    Atlantic Ocean: ★☆☆☆☆

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Tritoniopsis cincta based on our own records.

More pictures


    Ballesteros, M., M. Pontes, and E. Madrenas. 2019. Els nudibranquis del mar català. Brau Edicions, Figueres.
    Ballesteros, M., E. Madrenas, and M. Pontes. 2023. OPK - Opistobranquis. (
    Barletta, G., M. Mariani, and C. Perego. 1990. Considerazioni preliminari sugli opistobranchi viventi nella baia di Paraggi (Ge). Lavori della Societa Italiana di Malacologia 23:247-260.
    Bedulli, D., R. Cattaneo-Vietti, R. Chemello, F. Ghisotti, and F. Giovine. 1995. Gastropoda Opisthobranchia, Divasibranchia, Gymnomorpha, Fascicolo 15, pp. 1-23.  In: A. Minelli, A. Ruffo, & S. La Posta (Eds.). Checklist delle specie fauna italiana, Checklist delle specie della Fauna Italiana. Calderini, Bologna.
    Cattaneo-Vietti, R. 1986. Alcune considerazioni sui molluschi opistobranchi del Mar Ligure. Lavori Societa Italiana di Malacologia 22:85-96.
    Cattaneo-Vietti, R., and G. Barletta. 1984. Elenco preliminare dei molluschi opistobranchi viventi nel Mediterraneo (Sacoglossa, Pleurobranchomorpha, Acochlidiacea, Aplysiomorpha, Nudibranchia). Bollettino Malacologico (Pubblicazione Mensile Edita dalla Societa Italiana di Malacologia) 20(9-12):195-218.
    Cattaneo-Vietti, R., and T. E. Thompson. 1989. Mediterranean opisthobranch molluscs: a zoogeographic approach. Bollettino Malacologico (Pubblicazione Mensile Edita dalla Societa Italiana di Malacologia) 25(5-8):183-204.
    Cattaneo-Vietti, R., R. Chemello, and R. Giannuzzi-Savelli. 1990. Atlas of Mediterranean Nudibranchs. La Conchiglia, Rome, Italy.
    Cervera, J. L., J. Templado, J. C. García-Gómez, M. Ballesteros, J. Ortea, F. J. García, J. Ros, and A. A. Luque. 1988. Catálogo actualizado y comentado de los Opistobranquios (Mollusca, Gastropoda) de la Península Ibérica, Baleares y Canarias, con algunas referencias a Ceuta y la isla de Alborán. Iberus, supl. 1: 1-84.
    Cervera, J. L., G. Calado, C. Gavaia, M. A. E. Malaquías, J. Templado, M. Ballesteros, J. C. García-Gómez, and C. Megina. 2004. An annotated and updated checklist of the opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from Spain and Portugal (including islands and archipelagos). Boletín Instituto Español de Oceanografía, 20 (1-4): 1-111. L.
    Garcia, F. J., and H. Bertsch. 2009. Diversity and distribution of the Gastropoda Opisthobranchia from the Atlantic Ocean: A global biogeographic approach. Scientia Marina. 73: 153–160.
    Long, S. J. 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000. Bayside Books & Press, Tustin, CA, U.S.A. 672p.
    McDonald, G. 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia. 2nd Online Edition, Annotated. 1072 pp  Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz. (
    Moreno Lampreave, D., and A. Barrajón Domenech. 2012. Primera cita de Tritoniopsis cincta (Pruvot-Fol, 1937) (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia: Tritoniidae) en Andalucía, Sur de la Península Ibérica. Noticiario SEM. 57: 77–78.
    Pruvot-Fol, A. 1937. Etude des opisthobranches des côtes Nord de la Méditerranée provenant en majeure partie de Banyuls avec adjonction d’échantillon récoltés à Villefranche ainsi que dans quelques autres localités. Archives du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (6) 14: 35-74.
    Sabelli, B., R. Gianuzzi-Savelli, and D. Bedulli. 1990. Catalogo annotato dei Molluschi marini del Mediterraneo. Libreria Naturalistica Bolognese. Bologna, Italy: 348 pp.
    Schmekel, L., and A. Portmann. 1982. Opisthobranchia des Mittelmeeres, Nudibranchia und Saccoglossa. Fauna e Flora del Golfo Napoli. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
    Templado, J., and R. Villanueva. 2010. Checklist of Phylum Mollusca. pp. 148-198 In Coll, M., et al., 2010. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats. PLoS ONE 5(8):36pp.
    Templado, J., A. A. Luque, and D. Moreno. 1988. Nuevas aportaciones al conocimiento de los opistobranquios del sureste español. Iberus 8 (1): 15-23.
    Trainito, E. 2005. Nudibranchi del Mediterraneo : guida al riconoscimento dei molluschi opistobranchi. Il Castello, Trezzano sul Naviglio (Milano).
    Trainito, E., and M. Doneddu. 2014. Nudibranchi del Mediterraneo, 2nd. ed. Il Castello.
    Trainito, E., and S. Trainito. 2003. Mediterranean harlequins : a field guide to Mediterranean sea slugs. Taphros, Olbia (SS), Italia.
    Trainito, E., M. Doneddu, and G. Furfaro. 2019. Tritoniopsis cincta (Pruvot-Fol, 1937) (Gastropoda, Nudibranchia): first record for the Sardinian sea (Italy) and new additional notes on its distribution and diet. Studia Marina. 32: 5–11.
    WoRMS Editorial Board. 2023. World Register of Marine Species. WoRMS. (

    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:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2023) "Tritoniopsis cincta" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 01/11/2016. Accessed: 01/06/2023. Available at (

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