Armina neapolitana

Armina neapolitana (delle Chiaje, 1824)

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 and Morton, 1984
Parvorder: Euarminida Odhner, 1939
Superfamily: Arminoidea Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923 (1841)
Family: Arminidae Iredale & O’Donoghue, 1923 (1841)
Genus: Armina Rafinesque, 1814
Species: Armina neapolitana (delle Chiaje, 1824) [Pleurophyllidia]


  • Pleurophyllidia neapolitana Delle Chiaje, 1824 (original)
  • Pleurophyllidia vasconica Cuénot, 1914

The specimens are medium sized, about 20 to 30 mm in length. The general dorsal body coloration is light cream, featuring a central white line running from just behind the rhinophores down to the tail. The mantle margin is whitish. The dorsum has about 10 lightly marked longitudinal grooves on each side of the white dorsal line. Some of these grooves, somewhat thicker than the rest, are white pigmented. The mantle has some dark pigment (dark blue) in its anterior zone. There is a characteristic whitish transversal band that intersects the longitudinal in the middle of the dorsum; right behind the transversal band there is some dark pigment in some of the dorsal grooves. The mantle tail is pointed, it is somewhat raised and has dark blue pigment. The rhinophores are yellowish with some dark blue pigment in the front and have longitudinal lamellae. Below the mantle there are tight gill lamellae, the ones in the anterior side arranged longitudinally and the rest, which are larger, arranged in oblique direction to the body. The foot is large and slightly protruding from both sides of the mantle, it is colored whitish but the viscera give it yellowish-creamy tones in the center of the foot. On the anterior side, the foot develops two rounded lobes that are also seen in dorsal view. The foot margins are whitish and the rest or the foot is dark blue somewhat dispersed.

This species of nudibranch lives in detritic and muddy bottoms with remains of mollusc shells where pennatulaceans abound, as they supposedly prey on them. Given its small size and ability to bury themselves into the sediment to find food, this is a species that is not easy to locate on the seafloor, so it is considered relatively rare. When animals are moving, the rhinophores are kept upright. Very few details of their biology and eating habits are known.


  • Armina. Girl’s first name of Old German origin, meaning “soldier” or “warrior”.
  • Neapolitana, refered to Naples [Napoli] (Italy)

There are very few records for this species which is known both in the Mediterranean (Naples, Banyuls) and the Atlantic Ocean. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been recorded only in the Portuguese coast, and in Catalonia in Blanes trawling grounds and recently in the Medes islands (Medallot, 38 m deep).

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

References for the species: Armina neapolitana

    Portugal: De Oliveira (1895), Hidalgo (1916), Nobre (1932). All records as Pleurophyllidia undulata. Catalunya: Ballesteros (1987), Domènech et al. (2006).

    General: Marcus & Marcus, 1966:192; Nordsieck, 1972:70; Pruvot-Fol, 1937:59; 1954b:44[P]; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982:174[P]

    Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007 & 2016, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:

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This chart displays the observation probability for Armina neapolitana based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Armina neapolitana" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 16/05/2012, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (

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