Felimare cantabrica

Felimare cantabrica (Bouchet & Ortea, 1980)

Felimare cantabrica @ Asturias by Luis Ángel Díaz Álvarez
















































Felimare cantabrica  (Bouchet & Ortea, 1981)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 597543).

Taxonomic note: The European Atlantic and Mediterranean species of the genus Chromodoris and Hypselodoris have been reconsidered. After molecular analysis of the Chromodorididae performed by Johnson & Gosliner (2012, Traditional taxonomic groupings mask evolutionary history: A molecular phylogeny and new classification of the chromodorid nudibranchs. PLoS ONE 7(4): 33479) the Hypselodoris species have been included in the genus Felimare Ev. Marcus & Er. Marcus, 1967 and the Chromodoris species have been included in the genus Felimida Ev. Marcus, 1971.

Until recently it was thought that there was a very similar species Felimare malacitana (Luque, 1986) that could be differentiated by dorsal papillae and the radula (see Ortea et al. 1996), but after studying the issue it seems that it was only a junior synonym of Felimare cantabrica (G. Calado, 31/12/2016, pers. com.).


  • Hypselodoris cantabrica Bouchet & Ortea, 1980 (original)
  • Felimare malacitana (Luque, 1986)
  • Hypselodoris malacitana Luque, 1986

Body high and elongated, with a maximum recorded length of about 110mm (Ortea et al. 1996), color dark blue. The dorsal mantle is bordered in yellow, with a submarginal band of turquoise blue, and is covered with small papillae. It has two median dorsal white lines, yellow and discontinuous in the adult specimens, that extend in front of the rhinophores, where they converge. Between these two lines there is a line of yellow dots that reaches the space between the rhinophores. These are very dark blue, almost black, and with yellow spots on the back. Gills are of the same color as the rhinophores and have yellow spots both in the inner and outer sides of the branchial rachis. Rhinophores and gills are both retractile.

Like other species of the genus, it is assumed that it feeds on sponges. Juveniles are frequently found on the sponge Dysidea fragilis. The spawn consists of a white ribbon wound in a spiral of about 2 and a half turns, relatively wide and fixed to the substrate by one of its sides, with the free side slightly undulated. It lives in rocky bottoms at shallow depths (all reports are between 3 and 30 meters) and is considered scarce.


  • Cantabrica. From Latin “cantabricus”, from the Cantabric country, in reference to the North coast of Spain.

Reported throughout the south of Spain, all the Atlantic coasts of the Iberian Peninsula and the Western coasts of France, in the Gulf of Biscay. Also in the Canary Islands (El Hierro: May 2002, Isabel Creo in Sea Slug Forum as F.malacitana) and in Senegal (Dakar: 20/02/2004, Valerie Caro in Sea Slug Forum as F.malacitana).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Felimare cantabrica
: 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 monthly observation probability for Felimare cantabrica based on our own records.



More pictures


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    Bibliography based on the works by Steve Long, 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000 and Gary McDonald, 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia, with later updates from other resources.

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, M., Madrenas, E. & Pontes, M. (2023) "Felimare cantabrica" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 24/10/2012. Accessed: 14/04/2024. Available at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/?p=2441)

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