Berghia coerulescens

Berghia coerulescens (Laurillard, 1832)

Berghia coerulescens by Enric Madrenas

Class: Gastropoda Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura Spengel, 1881
Clade: Nudipleura Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Dexiarchia Schrödl, Wägele & Willan, 2001
Infraorder: Cladobranchia Willan & Morton, 1984
Parvorder: Aeolidida Odhner, 1934
Superfamily: Aeolidioidea J.E.Gray, 1827
Family: Aeolidiidae J.E. Gray, 1827
Genus: Berghia Trinchese, 1877
Species: Berghia coerulescens (Laurillard 1832) [Eolidia]


  • Berghia modesta Trinchese, 1882
  • Eolidia coerulescens Laurillard, 1832 (original)
  • Eolidia souleyeti Vérany, 1853
  • Eolis peregrina Delle Chiaje, 1841
  • Spurilla caerulescens (Laurillard, 1830)

This species can reach more than 40 mm in length. The body is white and slightly translucent, with the back tinted reddish or light pink, slightly darker between the first groups of cerata and with bluish tones in some areas. There are two long orange spots on the head. The oral palps are slightly bluish at the base and opaque and tinted orange in the tip. The rhinophores are smooth and translucent at the base and rounded with short orange warts near the tip, the apex itself is white. The cerata are grouped in 8-10 groups on each side of the body, arranged more or less evenly over the dorsum. The cerata are colored blue with an orange apical end, they are long, narrow and hold the brown digestive gland but it is masked by the blue coloration of the cerata skin. The foot is wide and coloured soft pink and the anterior zone holds and a pair of fine triangular propodials palps.

This species can be found under stones or in shallow infralittoral rocky walls with plenty of hydrarians and other invertebrates. It has been reported that it feeds on anemones Aiptasia mutabilis and Sagartia sp. The spawn consists of a white, translucent spirally wound ribbon of about 25mm in diameter with eggs 125 microns of diameter.


  • Berghia. In honor of the Danish physician and malacologist Dr. Rudolph Bergh, (1824-1909).
  • Coerulescens. Colored blue.

B.coerulescens is an anfiatlantic species as it is reported in the Caribbean (Curaçao, Jamaica) and also along the Atlantic coasts of Europe and the western Mediterranean. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been found in the Cantabrian coast, the coast of Portugal, in the Strait of Gibraltar and in all the Mediterranean coasts. In Catalonia it has been cited in various localities of the Costa Brava, such as Cadaques, L’Escala, Palamos, Lloret and Tossa de Mar.

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

References for the species: Berghia coerulescens

    Cantabria: Ros (1975). Portugal: Calado et al. (1999, as Spurilla). Gibraltar: García Gómez (1983, 2002, as Spurilla), García-Gómez and Thompson (1990, as Spurilla). Andalucía (Med.): Hergueta (1985), Salas and Hergueta (1986), Hergueta and Salas (1987), Templado and Moreno (1998), Sánchez Tocino, Ocaña and García (2000a), Ocaña et al. (2000). Levante: Templado, Talavera and Murillo (1987), Marín and Ros (1991). Catalunya: Ballesteros (1980, 1985), Ballesteros & Pereira (1982), M@re Nostrum [Es Caials 5/2001 y 4/2008]. Canarias: Moro et al. (1995, 2003), Ortea et al. (2001), Wirtz and Debelius (2003).

    General: Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:189[P]; Cuenot, 1906:102; Eliot, 1906c:357; 1910d:174; Fez Sanchez, 1974:77; Marcus & Marcus, 1960b:258; Nordsieck, 1972:83; Perrone, 1983b:140; Pruvot-Fol, 1948b:273; 1951:55; 1953b:57[P]; Riedl, 1983:327; Sabelli, Giannuzzi-Savelli, & Bedulli, 1990:448; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:230; Starmuhlner, 1955:225; Tardy, 1962:4; Trinchese, 1877b:151; 1881:7; 1881a:7; Vayssiere, 1913a:301; Vicente, 1963a:178; 1967:161

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


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:
This chart displays the observation probability for Berghia coerulescens based on our own records.

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Berghia coerulescens" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 16/05/2012, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (

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