Berghia verrucicornis

Berghia verrucicornis (Costa, A., 1867)

Berghia verrucicornis by José Carlos García Gómez

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 verrucicornis (A. Costa, 1867) [Flabellina]


  • Eolidia cavolinii Vérany, 1846
  • Eolis grossularia P. Fischer, 1869
  • Flabellina verrucicornis A. Costa, 1867 (original)
  • Spurilla margaritae Labbé, 1923
  • Spurilla verrucicornis (A. Costa, 1867)

This species can reach 20mm in length but observed specimens are generally smaller. The body color is hyaline white with the anterior dorsal area pigmented orange forming a band that widens when approaching the cardiac region. Behind the heart, this band becomes iridescent white ultil it reaches the tail. On the back of the head and front of the rhinophores there are two orange spots. The oral tentacles are long and semi-transparent except at the end, where they become opaque iridescent white. The rhinophores are short and relatively thick in relation to the size of the animal; they are semi-transparent in the base, red-orange in its middle portion, with short lateral lamellae and small dorsal tubercles, and white iridescent apex. The eyes are located just behind the base of the rhinophores. The cerata are gathered in about 10 groups on each side of the body, of which only the first groups are clearly differentiated from others. Between the first and the other groups of cerata there is the cardiac region, finely pigmented by orange spots. From the second group of cerata to the last there is no apparent separation between groups. Cerata are relatively short and are somewhat enlarged in their medium zone. They are translucent and the digestive gland can be seen within as a central wide brown cord. The apical end of the cerata is sharp and hyaline white and right below it there is a circular orange band. The foot is wide and white and develops a pair of triangular palps on the anterior zone. The genital openings are located in the center of the arc formed by the insertion into the body of the first group of cerata on the right side, while the anal opening is located slightly behind, in the center of the arc of the second group of cerata on the right side.

This aeolidacean species is usually found under stones with hydrarians and anthozoans, usually in shallow water and tidal pools. It feeds on small infralapidicole anemones such as Sagartiogeton laceratus or Aiptasiogeton hyalinus. The spawn is a narrow cord 0.5 mm wide and about 4 mm in diameter wound in a two turns spiral. Eggs are white, measuring about 130 microns, and are placed very tight inside the ribbon.


  • Berghia. In honor to the Danish doctor and malacologyst Dr. Rudolph Bergh, (1824-1909).
  • Verrucicornis. Related to the wart (verrucae) covered horns (rhinophores).

B.verrucicornis is an anfiatlantic species that has been cited in the Caribbean (Costa Rica, Gulf of Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil), in the coasts of Ghana, Canary Islands, the Açores and along the European shores, where in certain places could be abundant as in the island of Ré (Charente Maritime, France); it is also present in the Western Mediterranean. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been observed in all shores, both Atlantic and Mediterranean. In Catalonia it has been mainly cited on the Southern coast of Barcelona (Sitges, Cubelles), Tarragona (L’Ametlla de Mar, Salou), but also in the Maresme region (Vilassar de Mar) and in some localities of the Costa Brava (Girona).

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

References for the species: Berghia verrucicornis

    Cantabria: Fernández-Ovies (1981). Portugal: García-Gómez et al. (1991, as Spurilla). Andalucía (Atl.): Cervera and García-Gómez (1986, as S. verrucicornis), García-Gómez and Thompson (1990, as Spurilla). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1983, 2002, as Spurilla), García-Gómez and Thompson (1990, as Spurilla). Andalucía (Med.): Ballesteros et al. (1986), Sánchez Tocino, Ocaña and García (2000a), Ocaña et al. (2000). Levante: Fez (1974, as Berghia coerulescens), Templado (1982b, 1983, 1984), Ballesteros et al. (1986), Marín and Ros (1991). Catalunya: Ros (1975, 1978b, 1985a), Ros & Altimira (1977), Ballesteros (1977, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1985), Giribet & Peñas (1997), Ballesteros (datos no publicados) [Cala Sant Antoni]. Canarias: Moro et al. (1995, 2003), Ortea et al. (2001).

    General: Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:191[P]; Edmunds, 1968:212; Eyster, 1980:595; Marcus, 1972a:304; Perrone, 1983b:140; Schmekel, 1970:157; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:231[P]; Tardy, 1962:4; Thompson, 1980:97

    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 verrucicornis based on our own records.

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Berghia verrucicornis" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 16/05/2012, Accessed: 22/01/2018 at (

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