Facelina quatrefagesi

Facelina quatrefagesi  Vayssière, 1888

Facelina quatrefagesi by João Pedro Silva

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: Facelinidae  Bergh, 1889
Genus: Facelina  Alder & Hancock, 1855
Species: Facelina quatrefagesi  Vayssière, 1888


  • Acanthopsole quatrefagesi Vayssière, 1888 (original)

The animals of this species have a very stylized, semitransparent white body. The propodial tentacles are thin, translucent and with an iridescent-white leading edge. The oral tentacles are relatively long and of the same color as the propodial tentacles. The rhinophores, shorter than the oral tentacles, have the anterior side also iridescent-white and perpendicular transversal olfactory lamellae on the upper two thirds of its length, on the back side. The eyes are clearly visible at the base of the rhinophores. The 7-8 cerata groups are laid with almost without gaps between them, so that the back appears homogeneously covered with them. Digestive gland inside the cerata, which colors them, is usually orange-red, with a black spot near the tip. The apex of the cerata are semitransparent, allowing the observation of the hepatic duct and the apical cnidosac. Longer cerata are the innermost of each group, are curved and intersect with the cerata from the other side. The foot is semitransparent and the tail is narrow and with a whitish middorsal line.

A species very similar in appearance, Caloria elegans, with which it was erroneously synonymized (Picton, 1979), differs with Facelina quatrefagesi by having smooth rhinophores, occasionally with small rounded buds, and because the digestive gland inside the cerata are usually white, yellow or light orange.

This species is very active. It can be located on rocky walls with an abundance of algae and hidrarians it can feed on. It is found sometimes on Halecium sp. When disturbed, it extends the cerata so it looks like an anemone. Very little is known about the biology of this species.


  • Facelina. In Latin means “lined face”.
  • Quatrefagesi. Dedicated to Prof. Dr. Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau, (1810-1892), French physician, later professor of antropology in Paris and zoologist. Friend of H. Milne Edwards, he is also well-known for his scepticism to Darwinism, not based however in religious reasons.

This species has been cited in the Atlantic: Galicia, Portugal, Madeira (27/08/2006, P. Wirtz, Medslugs) and Gran Canaria (2/08/2002, A. Telle, Medslugs) and also in the western Mediterranean, where it is known from the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer (France), where it was described, and also in Spain where it has been cited in the Levant and Catalonia. Is also present in the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, December 2007, N.Darder, Medslugs) and Italy (Sardinia, October 1983, A. Piras, Medslugs) and (Naples, May 2013, G. Villani, pers. Comm.).

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

References for the species: Facelina quatrefagesi

    Galicia: Ortea (1977c). Portugal:Joao Pedro Silva (2006,2010,2011). Levante: Enric Madrenas (pers.comm. Dénia 01-08-2002). Catalunya: Enric Madrenas (pers.comm. L´Escala 27-10-2013, Mataró 20-03-2014).

    General: Nordsieck, 1972:79 as Acanthopsole quatrefagesi; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:390; Sabelli, Giannuzzi-Savelli, & Bedulli, 1990:449 as Facelina quatrefagesi

    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 Facelina quatrefagesi based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Facelina quatrefagesi" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/10/2014, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/L1kWM)

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