Tritonia coralliumrubri

Tritonia coralliumrubri  Doneddu, Sacco & Trainito, 2014

Tritonia coralliumrubri by Egidio Trainito

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 and Morton, 1984
Parvorder: Dendronotida Odhner, 1934
Superfamily: Tritonioidea  Lamarck, 1809
Family: Tritoniidae  Lamarck, 1809
Genus: Tritonia  Cuvier, 1797
Species: Tritonia coralliumrubri  Doneddu, Sacco & Trainito, 2014

The few specimens found so far had a body length between 7 and 11 mm. The body is elongated and limaciform, the thickness of the back half decreases gradually to a tapered tail. The forward margin of the foot is rounded, while the rear end terminates in a tapered tail. On each side of the back there are fifteen arborescent appendages of different sizes, placed at different heights and arranged symmetrically on both sides of the body, the first are placed immediately behind the rhinophores and the very small last ones, placed at about one mm of the tip of the tail. It has a bilobed oral veil, with 6 fingerlike elongated processes in each lobe. The rhinophoric sheaths are cylindrical, slightly flared at its upper end, and with the upper margin decorated with short processes. The rhinophores have the typical appearance of the family, with an off-axis finger-shaped process surrounded by a number of tip-forked processes. The base body colour is greyish white, translucent at the edges of the mantle and the oral veil. The back of the dorsum is dotted with blackish blotches, sometimes confluent, absent from the oral veil, the rhinophoric sheaths, the rhinophores and the dorsal appendages. The center of the dorsal area, rhomboid shaped, appears brighter because of a lower density of dark spots.

Little is known about the biology of this species. It has not been possible to observe this species feeding on coral polyps, but all known specimens have been found on live branches of red coral, not the old branches nor around the coral colonies, so the hypothesis that this species feeds on this anthozoarian is plausible. All specimens were found at depths from 35 m but this may be due to the red coral own depth distribution.


  • Tritonia. The genus Tritonia is dedicated to Triton, in Greek mythology the god of the sea, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, portrayed as having the head and trunk of a man and the tail of a fish.
  • Coralliumrubri, derives from Corallium rubrum, the alcyonarian on which this species lives in association.

The first samples were found in May 1993 outside the submarine promontory of Capo Caccia (Alghero, northwestern Sardinia, Italy) at a depth of about 100 meters (Doneddu, Manunza and Trainito, 1995). In May 2012 new specimens were found in Capo Mannu (western Sardinia, Italy), at a depth of 35 meters.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Tritonia coralliumrubri
: 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 Tritonia coralliumrubri based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Tritonia coralliumrubri" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/04/2015, Accessed: 24/01/2018 at (

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