Tayuva lilacina

Tayuva lilacina (Gould, 1852)

Tayuva lilacina by Enric Madrenas













































Tayuva lilacina  (Gould, 1852)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 578710).
Taxonomic note: Tayuva lilacina has been regarded as belonging to the species Discodoris maculosa Bergh, 1884 until recently. The recent and thorough review made of the Discodorididae by Dayrat (2010. A Monographic revisión of basal  discodoridid sea slugs. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sciences, (4), 61, supl. I:1-403) based on morphological characters and internal anatomy has evidenced the existence of synonymous species in different oceans and has reduced the number of valid species inside of the Discodorididae family. Such is the case of Discodoris maculosa a well known Mediterranean species that has been included in the species Tayuva lilacina, an species of wide tropical and temperate seas (like the Mediterranean) distribution. The species Discodoris maculosa is accepted as T. lilacina in the WoRMS (World Register of Marine Species) and CLEMAM (Check List of European Marine Mollusks), two of the most serious and updated taxonomic organizations on line. However, it could be that with new molecular phylogeny studies, it was found that Tayuva lilacina was a complex of different species masked with a very similar morphology.


  • Chromodoris lilacina (Gould, 1852)
  • Discodoris confusa Ballesteros, Llera & Ortea, 1985
  • Discodoris ketos (Ev. Marcus & Er. Marcus, 1967)
  • Discodoris lilacina (Gould, 1852)
  • Discodoris maculosa Bergh, 1884
  • Discodoris palma Allan, 1933
  • Doris lilacina Gould, 1852 (original)
  • Peltodoris crucis (Mörch, 1863) sensu Bergh, 1880
  • Tayuva ketos Marcus & Marcus, 1967
  • Tayuva ketos gila Marcus & Marcus, 1970
  • Tayuva ketos juva Marcus & Marcus, 1970
  • Tayuva ketos ketos Marcus & Marcus, 1967

This is a medium to large doridacean species whose Mediterranean specimens can reach 60 mm in length. The body is flattened and of leathery texture. The general coloration of the back is brownish-gray with abundant rounded greenish-brown different sized spots. All the back is adorned with numerous small conical tubercles tightly placed. In some samples there could be a kind of discontinuous middle dorsal white line running from the inter-rhinophoric area to the gill area, and is formed by the alignment of white tubercles. The entire back of the animal, including tubercles has abundant internal spiculation. The rhinophores are slightly yellowish with brown lamellae and the apex has the shape of a club; the rhinophoric sheath has 12-14 small tubercles along its upper margin. There are 6 tripinnate gills with yellowish-white leaves surrounding the anal papilla; the branchial sheath is slightly elevated and has a lobed top edge. The underside of the mantle and the sidewalls of the body have abundant brownish-red spots of different sizes. The foot is quite wide, whitish but with numerous reddish-brown stains and marks. The mouth has two short white oral palps.

This species is usually located at shallow depth under stones, from tidal pools to several meters deep. In this habitat, because of its coloration and flattened appearance, the animals may easily overlooked or being confused with encrusting sponges, on which they feed as other members of the family Discodorididae. The spawn is a whitish spiral of about 20 mm in diameter filled with 90 microns eggs.


  • Lilacina a reference to the lilac tone of the body colouring of this species.

According to the review of the family by Dayrat (2010), this would be a species with a wide tropical and temperate seas distribution, found in the Caribbean (cited as Peltodoris cruci, Tayuva ketos and Peltodoris hummelincki), the Canary islands and Cape Verde islands (quoted as Discodoris confusa), Eastern Pacific (quoted as Tayuva ketos), Galapagos islands and Indo-Pacific (cited as Doris lilacina, Discodoris lilacina, Discodoris concinna, Discodoris fragilis and Tayuva ketos), Red Sea, South Africa, Australia and Hawaii, Mediterranean and European Atlantic coasts. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been cited on the Cantabrian coast, in the Strait of Gibraltar, in the Andalusian Mediterranean coast, on the Levantine coast and in Catalonia. In the Catalan coast it has been observed in northern Costa Brava (Sant Antoni and Es Caials in Cadaqués and Cap Falco in Roses), among other places.

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


    Western Mediterranean:0 out of 5 stars
    Eastern Mediterranean:0 out of 5 stars
    Atlantic Ocean:0 out of 5 stars

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Tayuva lilacina based on our own records.

More pictures


    Allan, J. K. 1947. Nudibranchia from the Clarence River Heads, north coast, New South Wales. Records of the Australian Museum 21(8):433-463, pls. 41-43.
    Ballesteros, M. 1984. Adiciones a la fauna de opistobranquios de Cubellas (Tarragona). Miscelánea Zoológica 8: 41-49.
    Ballesteros, M. 2007. Lista actualizada de los opistobranquios (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira. 2: 163–188.
    Ballesteros, M., A. Barrajón, A. Luque, D. Moreno, P. Talavera, and J. Templado. 1986. Contribución al conocimiento de los Moluscos Gasterópodos marinos de Almería. Iberus, 6: 39-57.
    Ballesteros, M., E. M. Llera, and J. Ortea. 1985. Revision de los Doridacea (Mollusca: Opistobranchia) del Atlantico nordeste atribuibles al complejo maculosa-fragilis. Bollettino Malacologico, 20 (9-12): 227-257.
    Ballesteros, M., E. Madrenas, and M. Pontes. 2020. OPK - Opistobranquis. (https://opistobranquis.info/).
    Ballesteros, M., E. Madrenas, and M. Pontes. 2016. Actualización del catálogo de los moluscos opistobranquios (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira 6(2016): 1-28.
    Ballesteros, M., M. Pontes, and E. Madrenas. 2019. Els nudibranquis del mar català. Brau, Figueres.
    Bedulli, D., R. Cattaneo-Vietti, R. Chemello, F. Ghisotti, and F. Giovine. 1995. Gastropoda Opisthobranchia, Divasibranchia, Gymnomorpha, Fascicolo 15, pp. 1-23.  In: A. Minelli, A. Ruffo, & S. La Posta (Eds.). Checklist delle specie fauna italiana, Checklist delle specie della Fauna Italiana. Calderini, Bologna.
    Bergh, L. S. R. 1899. Nudibranches et Marsenia provenant des campagnes de la Princesse-Alice (1891-1897). Résultats des campagnes scientifiques accomplies sur son yacht par Albert 1er, Prince souverain de Monaco, 14: 1-45, 2 pls.
    Bergh, L. S. R. 1884. Malacologische Untersuchungen, In: Reisen im Archipel der Philippinen von Dr Carl Gottfried Semper. Zweiter Theil. Wissenschaftliche Resultate., Vol. 2, Part. 3, Num. 15, pp 647–754, pls. G, H, J-L. ed.
    Bergh, L. S. R. 1908. Malacologische Untersuchungen, In: Reisen im Archipel der Philippinen von Dr Carl Gottfried Semper. Zweiter Theil. Wissenschaftliche Resultate. Band 9, Theil 6, Heft 3; pp 119-181, pls. 9-12.
    Bielecki, S., G. Cavignaux, J. M. Crouzet, and S. Grall. 2011. Des limaces de rêve.
    Cattaneo-Vietti, R., and G. Barletta. 1984. Elenco preliminare dei molluschi opistobranchi viventi nel Mediterraneo (Sacoglossa, Pleurobranchomorpha, Acochlidiacea, Aplysiomorpha, Nudibranchia). Bollettino Malacologico (Pubblicazione Mensile Edita dalla Societa Italiana di Malacologia) 20(9-12):195-218.
    Cattaneo-Vietti, R., and T. E. Thompson. 1989. Mediterranean opisthobranch molluscs: a zoogeographic approach. Bollettino Malacologico (Pubblicazione Mensile Edita dalla Societa Italiana di Malacologia) 25(5-8):183-204.
    Cattaneo-Vietti, R., R. Chemello, and R. Giannuzzi-Savelli. 1990. Atlante dei nudibranchi del Mediterraneo. La Conchiglia, Rome 264 pp, 14 pls. (104 clr. ill), line drawings.
    Cervera, J. L., G. Calado, C. Gavaia, M. A. E. Malaquías, J. Templado, M. Ballesteros, J. C. García-Gómez, and C. Megina. 2004. An annotated and updated checklist of the opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from Spain and Portugal (including islands and archipelagos). Boletín Instituto Español de Oceanografía, 20 (1-4): 1-111. L.
    Crocetta, F., H. Zibrowius, G. Bitar, J. Templado, and M. Oliveiro. 2013. Biogeographical homogeneity in the eastern Mediterranean Sea - I: the opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from Lebanon. Mediterranean Marine Science, Vol 14, no.2.
    Dayrat, B. 2005. Advantages of naming species under the PhyloCode: an example of how a new species of Discodorididae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Euthyneura, Nudibranchia, Doridina) may be named. Marine Biology Research 1: 216-232.
    Dayrat, B., and T. M. Gosliner. 2005. Species names and metaphyly: a case study in Discodorididae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia, Doridina). Zoologica Scripta 34 (2).
    Domènech, A., C. Avila, and M. Ballesteros. 2002. Spatial and Temporal variability of the Opisthobranch molluscs of Port Lligat Bay (Catalonia, NE Spain). Journ. Moll. Stud., 68:29-37.
    Doneddu, M., B. Manunza, and E. Trainito. 1995. Opistobranchi del Nord Sardegna: censimento ed annotazioni. Biologia Marina Mediterranea II (2): 369-370.
    Eliot, C. N. E. 1906. Report upon a collection of Nudibranchiata from the Cape Verde islands, with notes by C. Crossland. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London l7(3): 131-159.
    Farmer, W. M. 1980. Sea-slug gastropods, 177 pp W. m Farmer Enterprises, Tempe, Arizona.
    Ferreira, A. J., and H. Bertsch. 1975. Anatomical and distributional observations of some opisthobranchs from the Panamic faunal province. Veliger 17(4):323-330.
    Flanders Marine Institute. 2018. Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase: Territorial Seas. Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase. (http://www.marineregions.org/).
    Garcia, F. J., and H. Bertsch. 2009. Diversity and distribution of the Gastropoda Opisthobranchia from the Atlantic Ocean: A global biogeographic approach. Scientia Marina. 73: 153–160.
    Gould, A. A. 1852. Mollusca and Shells [in]: United States Exploring Expeditions, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 under the command of Charles Wilkes, U.S.N.. Philadelphia. C. Sherman & son : vol. 12, xv + 510 pp.
    Long, S. J. 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000. Bayside Books & Press, Tustin, CA, U.S.A. 672p.
    Malaquias, M. A. E., J. L. Cervera, and P. J. López-González. 2001. The Opisthobranch Molluscs from Porto Santo Island (Madeira Archipelago, Northeastern Atlantic Ocean). Iberus 19 (1): 75-82.
    Marcus, E., and E. Marcus. 1966. The R/V Pillsbury deep-sea biological expedition to the Gulf of Guinea, 1964–65. 9. Opisthobranchs from tropical West Africa. Studies in Tropical Oceanography, 4: 152–208.
    Marcus, E. d. B. R., and E. G. Marcus. 1967. American opisthobranch mollusks Part I, Tropical American opisthobranchs. Studies in Tropical Oceanography, Miami 6(1-2):vii + 1-256, 1 pl.
    Marín, A., and J. Ros. 1987. Catálogo preliminar de los gasterópodos marinos del sudeste español. Iberus 7 (1): 137-145.
    McDonald, G. 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia. 2nd Online Edition, Annotated. 1072 pp  Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz. (http://escholarship.org/uc/item/8115h0wz).
    Moro, L., J. L. Martín Esquivel, M. J. Garrido Sanahuja, and I. Izquierdo Zamora. 2003. Lista de especies marinas de Canarias (algas, hongos, plantas y animales). Consejería de Política Territorial y Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Canarias.
    Nordsieck, F. 1972. Die europäischen Meeresschnecken : (Opisthobranchia mit Pyramidellidae, Rissoacea) : vom Eismeer bis Kapverdem, Mittelmeer und Schawarzes Meer. Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart.
    Ortea, J. 1979. Deux nouveaux doridiens (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) de la côte d’Espagne. Bulletin du Museum d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris) 4e sèr., sect. A, 3: 573-578.
    Ortea, J. 1977a. Moluscos marinos gasterópodos y bivalvos del litoral asturiano entre Ribadesella y Ribadeo, con especial atención a la subclase de los opistobranquios. Tesis Doctoral.
    Ortea, J., J. J. Bacallado, and J. M. Pérez Sánchez. 1981. Sobre la presencia de Discodoris fragilis Alder y Hancock, 1846 (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia: Doridacea) en las islas Canarias. Investigación Pesquera 45 (1): 231-236.
    Ortea, J. A., J. Espinosa, and L. Moro. 1998. Redescripción y nueva posición sistemática de Peltodoris sauvagei Rochebrune, 1881 (Mollusca: Nudibranchia: Discodorididae) del archipiélago de Cabo Verde. Revista Academia Canaria de las Ciencias 10(4):109-114; fig. 1; pl 1.
    Ortea, J., L. Moro, and J. J. Bacallado. 2015. Babosas Marinas Canarias. Turquesa Ediciones.
    Ortea, J. A., L. Moro, J. J. Bacallado, and R. Herrera. 2001. Catálogo actualizado de los Moluscos Opistobranquios de las Islas Canarias. Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias 12 (3-4): 105-136.
    Ozturk, B., A. Dogan, B. Bitlis-Bakir, and A. Salman. 2014. Marine Molluscs of the Turkish Coasts: An Updated Checklist. Tübitak, Turkish Journal of Zoology 38.
    Peñas, A., E. Rolán, A. Luque, J. Templado, F. Rubio, D. Moreno, and A. Sierra. 2006. Moluscos marinos de la zona de la isla de Alborán. Iberus, supplement 6.
    Prkić, J., A. Petani, Ð. Iglić, and L. Lanča. 2018. Stražnjoškržnjaci Jadranskoga Mora: Slikovni Atlas i Popis Hrvatskih Vrsta / Opisthobranchs of the Adriatic Sea: Photographic Atlas and List of Croatian Species. Ronilaćki Klub Sveti Roko, Bibinje.
    Pruvot-Fol, A. 1935. Les doridiens de Cuvier publies dans les Annales du Museum en 1804. Etude critique et historique. Journal de Conchyliologie 78(4):209-261.
    Pruvot-Fol, A. 1954. Mollusques opisthobranches. Faune de France, 58. Paul Lechevalier, Paris.
    Ros, J. D. 1976. Catálogo provisional de los opistobranquios (Gastropoda: Euthyneura) de las costas ibéricas. Miscelánea Zoologica, 3(5):21-51.
    Rudman W.B. et al. 1998. Discodoris maculosa accessed through: Sea Slug Forum on 2014-12-14. (http://seaslugforum.net/showall/discmacu).
    Sabelli, B., R. Gianuzzi-Savelli, and D. Bedulli. 1990. Catalogo annotato dei Molluschi marini del Mediterraneo. Libreria Naturalistica Bolognese. Bologna, Italy: 348 pp.

    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, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2020) "Tayuva lilacina" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 16/05/2012, Accessed: 06/07/2020 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/jg6DK)

In order to copy this cite or text fragments you must be a registered user.