Flabellina lineata

Flabellina lineata (Lovén, 1846)

Flabellina lineata 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: Flabellinoidea  Bergh, 1889
Family: Flabellinidae  Bergh, 1889
Genus: Flabellina  Voigt, 1834
Species: Flabellina lineata (Lovén, 1846) [Aeolis]


  • Aeolis argenteolineata Costa A., 1866
  • Aeolis lineata Lovén, 1846
  • Coryphella lineata (Lovén, 1846)

Mediterranean specimens of this species usually measure between 15 and 30 mm in length, although in northern Europe it has been cited that they could reach 50 mm in total length. The body is whitish and semi-transparent, it is possible to see the cream coloured viscera through the integument. The specific name refers to the thin opaque white lines on the back and sides of the body; the dorsal line runs through the middle of the back, from the last cerata up to the head, passing between the bases of the rhinophores and then forking forward to the back of the oral tentacles. The lateral lines run below the insertion of the groups of cerata and meet in the tail. Oral palps and rhinophores are also whitish and semitransparent and along the dorsal side of the rhinophores a thin opaque white line is observed. The tip of the rhinophores is opaque white. The eyes are very visible and are located in the back of the base of the rhinophores. The cerata are gathered in 5-8 groups, depending on the size of the specimens. The first two groups have two rows of cerata and the remaining groups only one. The cerata are long, thin, semitransparent and pointy. The anterior and posterior areas of the cerata have an opaque white line that sometimes is discontinuous; the digestive gland within the cerata can be orange, red or brown. The apex of the cerata is whitish. The foot is wide and semitransparent and in its anterior zone has two well-developed triangular propodial palps.

F.lineata is a very active species that usually lives in dimly lit rocky walls with an abundance of food, hydroids as Tubularia indivisa, Sarsia eximia, Hydallmania falcata and Sertularia argentea in European Atlantic waters, while in the Mediterranean seems to be feed on polyps of the genus Eudrendrium, like other Flabellinidae. The spawn is laid on top of the same colonies of hydrozoans it feeds on, and it composed of a flat spiral wound cord filled with whitish or slightly pink eggs of about 75 microns in diameter (Schmekel & Portmann, 1982).


  • Flabellina. From Latin “flabellum” meaning “fan”. Refered to the cerata, laid “shaped like a fan”.
  • Lineata. Refers to the fine white opaque lines running along the dorsum and sides of the animal’s body.

This species is distributed from northern Europe (Norway, within the Arctic Circle), North Sea, French Atlantic coasts and the Iberian Peninsula to the Mediterranean Sea. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been cited in the Portuguese coast, the area the Strait of Gibraltar, the Levantine coast, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. In the Catalan coast it has been observed, among other locations, in Illa Plana (Llançà) L’Escala, Illes Medes, Begur and Tossa de Mar.

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

References for the species: Flabellina lineata

    Portugal: Calado and Urgorri (1999), Calado et al. (1999). Gibraltar: García-Gómez (1982, 2002), García-Gómez et al. (1989), Wirtz and Debelius (2003). Levante: Fez (1974), Marín and Ros (1987), Templado, Luque and Moreno (1988). Catalunya: Ros (1975), Ballesteros (1980, 1985). Todas las citas como Coryphella. Baleares: Ballesteros (1981a).

    General: Brown & Hunnam, 1976:45; Brown & Picton, 1979:19; Cattaneo-Vietti, Chemello, & Giannuzzi-Savelli, 1990:167[P]; Farran, 1909:7; Hoffmann, 1926:20; Krause, 1897:99; Loyning, 1922:32, 91; 1927:260; Nordsieck, 1972:72; Odhner, 1939:59; Perrone, 1986a:34; Picton & Morrow, 1994:94[P]; Pruvot-Fol, 1954b:421; Riedl, 1970:432; 1983:325; Roginskaya, 1962:95; Schmekel, 1970:141; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:185[P]; Swennen, 1987:40; Thompson, 1976a:[P]; 1988:252[P]; Thompson & Brown, 1976:146[P]; 1984:111[P]; Tiberi, 1880:234; Trinchese, 1881:99; 1881a:99; Vayssiere, 1888d:73; 1913a:290; Vicente, 1963a:178; 1967:161; Walton, 1908:233 as Coryphella lineata

    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 Flabellina lineata based on our own records.

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Flabellina lineata" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 17/05/2012, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/Por6g)

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