Eubranchus tricolor

Eubranchus tricolor  Forbes, 1838

Eubranchus tricolor by Bernard Picton

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: Fionoidea  J.E. Gray, 1857
Family: Eubranchidae Odhner, 1934
Genus: Eubranchus  Forbes, 1838
Species: Eubranchus tricolor  Forbes, 1838

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. This decision has been reinterpreted and completed in the paper by Korshunova et al. (2017) because it obviated evident morphological and molecular aspects.

The Mediterranean specimens identified as Eubranchus tricolor are clearly not conspecific to the Atlantic specimens, but they are quite similar to Eubranchus farrani form “D”, although they could be a new unidentified species (see pictures below).


  • Egalvina viridula (Bergh, 1873)
  • Eolis amethystina Alder & Hancock, 1845 
  • Eolis tricolor (Forbes, 1838) 
  • Eolis violacea Alder & Hancock, 1844 
  • Galvina tricolor (Forbes, 1838) 
  • Galvina viridula Bergh, 1873 




  • Eubranchus. From Greek “eu”, good, well + “bragchia”, gill.
  • Tricolor. From Latin “tres”, three + “color”, colour.

Basically an Atlantic species. Mediterranean specimens, despite the high similarity, are probably a different species, hence we label them as Eubranchus cf. tricolor.

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

References for the species: Eubranchus tricolor

    Galicia: Urgorri and Besteiro (1983).

    General: Brown & Picton, 1979:26; Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:177[P]; Edmunds & Kress, 1969:880; Fez Sanchez, 1974:102; Hayward, Wigham, & Yonow, 1990:722; Heppell, 1964a:413; Hunnam & Brown, 1975:156; ICZN, 1966b:87; Just & Edmunds, 1985:114[P]; Lemche, 1964b:43; McMillan, 1968:70; Nordsieck, 1972:75; Picton & Morrow, 1994:118[P]; Pruvot-Fol, 1951:66; 1954b:416; Rivest & Harris, 1976:145; Thompson, 1976a:[P]; 1988:298[P]; Thompson & Brown, 1976:164; 1984:135[P]

    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 Eubranchus tricolor based on our own records.

More pictures

    We have no (more) pictures for Eubranchus tricolor


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Eubranchus tricolor" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/09/2014, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (

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