Facelina schwobi

Facelina schwobi (Labbé, 1923)

Facelina schwobi by Ballesteros, M., J. Ortea, E. Martínez, and D. Vallvé, 1993

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 schwobi (Labbé, 1923)


  • Acanthopsole schwobi Labbé, 1923 (original)

Body colour is pinkish-white. The pericardial area, located in the middle of the dorsum, is coloured violet. The head is orange-red, with a white and yellow band between the rhinophores, forming a capital “T” in front of them (may be absent in juvenile specimens). The oral tentacles are long, orange in the basal half, and white with some bluish reflections on the inner side of the distal zone. The rhinophores are pink and ringed, with the last 4-5 lamellae coloured in yellow. The sole of the foot is white, but in the front where it is pink. The cerata have a red ring at the base and another right below the white apex, allowing the brown digestive gland to be seen through by transparency. The cerata are distributed in three large groups: the first one has 7 rows of cerata, whereas in the other two groups there are 4 rows each. The genital opening is on the right side of the animal, under the first group of cerata, ahead of the pericardial zone, while the anal papilla is below the third group of cerata, it is white and highly developed.

Like other Facelinid species it supposedly feeds on hydrarians, of which it is capable to sequester the active cnydocysts and store them in the tips of cerata with self-defense purposes. The characteristics of the spawn, or its reproductive cycle, are unknown.


  • Facelina. In Latin means “lined face”.
  • Schwobi. Unknown. Perhaps dedicated to Maurice Schwob, journalist and owner of “Le phare de la Loire” in Nantes, France, possible friend of Alphonse Labbé (mentioned in Labbé’s book “Le conflict transformiste”, p.8), or to Marcel Schwob, an acclaimed French symbolist writer of the time.

Only two specimens are known, a 10mm one described by Labbé at Croisic, France in 1922 (Labbé, 1923), and the specimen collected by a trawler at 60 meters deep in front of Laredo, Spain in 1991 (Ballesteros et al., 1993). Villena et al. (1997), Cervera et al. (2004), Ballesteros (2007) and Trainito & Doneddu (2014) refer to their – to date – incorrect Mediterranean presence in Catalan waters.

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


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

More pictures

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Facelina schwobi" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 28/11/2015, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/1W9D3)

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