Facelina rubrovittata

Facelina rubrovittata (Costa, A., 1866)

Facelina rubrovittata 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: Facelinidae  Bergh, 1889
Genus: Facelina  Alder & Hancock, 1855
Species: Facelina rubrovittata A. (Costa, 1866) [Aeolis]


  • Acanthopsole rubrovittata (Costa, 1866)
  • Aeolis rubrovittata Costa A., 1866 (original)
  • Hervia amari Vicente, 1962 
  • Cratena amari Vicente, 1962 
  • Facelina albida Bergh, 1882
  • Hervia berghii Vayssière, 1888

This species may reach a size of 15 mm in length. The body is narrow and translucent, and the back is finely dotted with dark brown spots. This species is characterized by the orange lines (sometimes discontinuous) running along the body: a dorsal line from head to tail, passing between rhinophores, and another line along each side of the body, running below the insertion of the cerata to the body. There are also similar orange lines between cerata groups, at least among these located in the anterior part of the body. The oral tentacles are long and thin, transparent on their base, and somewhat pink in their distal half. The rhinophores are smooth, showing 4-5 small ring widenings near the tip. The basal area of the rhinophores is smooth and dark brown while the distal half is pink. There are 5-6 cerata groups on each side of the body, well separated from each other. The first group has 3 rows of cerata, the second and third group show double rows and the rest of the groups show only one row of cerata. The cerata are transparent, thin and are curved towards the inner area of the body, but they are almost completely occupied by the brown digestive gland. The foot is narrow and transparent, with two propodial tentacles, thin and colored whitish, on the anterior part of the foot.

Little is known about the biology of this rare species. It has been cited feeding on athecate hydrozoans’ polyps of the gender Eudendrium, much like other eolidaceans.


  • Facelina – Latin for “lined face”
  • Rubro = “red” and Vittata = “streaked” in Latin, refers to the 5 rows of broken red lines this species usually has.

This is a species that inhabits the Mediterranean and close Atlantic coasts. In the Mediterranean, it is found mainly in the western basin but there are also scattered cites along the Adriatic, Greek and Turkish coasts. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been cited in the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Andalusia, the east coast of Valencia, the Balearic islands and in many locations of Catalonia: Es Caials and Cala Sant Antoni (Cadaqués), L’Escala, Cala Aiguafreda (Begur), Tossa de Mar, and Cala Sant Fancesc (Blanes).

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

References for the species: Facelina rubrovittata

    Andalucía (Atl.): Cervera and García (1986). Gibraltar: García-Gómez et al. (1989). Andalucía (Med.): Luque (1983, 1986), Ballesteros et al. (1986), Sánchez Tocino, Ocaña and García (2000a), Ocaña et al. (2000), Peñas et al. (in press). Levante: Templado (1982b, 1983, as Acanthopsole), Marín and Ros (1987). Catalunya: Ballesteros (1980, 1985, citada como Acanthopsole), Domènech et al. (2002), M@re Nostrum [Illa Mateua (L'Escala) 4/2000, 5/2000 y Cala Llevadó (Tossa de Mar) 5/1998]. Baleares: Ballesteros (1981a, 1985, as Acanthopsole).

    General: Nordsieck, 1972:79; Trinchese, 1874:68; 1874a:76; Vayssiere, 1888d:33; 1913a:272 as Acanthopsole rubrovittata; Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:205[P]; Luque, 1983:69; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:392; Riedl, 1983:327; Sordi & Majidi, 1956:242 as Facelina rubrovittata

    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 rubrovittata based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Facelina rubrovittata" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 17/05/2012, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/DZrUM)

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