Trapania graeffei

Trapania graeffei  (Bergh, 1881)

Trapania graeffei @ Trieste, Italy 18-07-2018 by Fabio Strazzi


  • Drepania graeffei Bergh, 1881

The body is elongated, with a maximum reported size of 15mm, generally half this size. It is coloured transparent white with pinkish hue on the tail and appendages, with more or less dense brown spots, sometimes confluent forming big patches both on top and sides of the body. Rhinophores are transparent pinkish-white with yellow tips, with about 7 lamellae on the middle part and with a cylindrical apex. Eyes are located on the rear side of the rhinophores’ base. Oral tentacles have the tips coloured yellow. Gills are also transparent pinkish-white, sometimes with yellow tips. Foot is narrow and the tail is tappered with a yellow coloured tip.

Actually unknown. However other species from the genus feed on tiny organisms that grow on sea sponges called Entoprocta.


  • Trapania. The original generic name of this species was Drepania, proposed by Lafont in 1874. Pruvot-Fol in 1931 proposed changing the generic name to Trapania to disambiguate it from Drepania Hübner, 1816 (a group of lepidoptera). Madame Pruvot-Fol does not indicate the origin of the name, but there are two theories: the first would be dedicated to the city of Trapani, the province capital of western Sicily; the second would be inspired on the original generic name Drepania, derived from the Greek “Drepane” which means “sickle” and presumably refers to the shape of the appendages located on the sides of the rhinophores and gills in this genus. Pruvot Fol would have chosen the new name on the basis that it has the same meaning, but not the same sound and thus avoid confusion.
  • Graeffei. In honor to Austrian naturalist Eduard Heinrich Graeffe, (1833-1916), educated at the University of Zürich, who wrote about the marine fauna of the Trieste area.

Traditionally confused with the Atlantic species Trapania fusca, a recent paper by Doneddu et al. (2020) has revealed they are indeed different species. All reports in literature of Trapania fusca from the Mediterranean Sea correspond to Trapania graeffei. It has been reported so far in Italy (Trieste, Naples, Livorno), Malta and France (Villefranche-sur-Mer and Banyuls-sur-mer).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Trapania graeffei
: 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 Trapania graeffei based on our own records.

More pictures


    Bergh, L. S. R. 1881. Beitrage zu einer Monographie der Polyceraden, II. Verhandlungen der koniglich-kaiserlich Zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien (Abhandlungen) 30:629- 668, pls. X-XV.
    Cervera, J. L., and J. C. García-Gómez. 1989. Dos nuevas especies de Trapania Pruvot-Fol, 1931 (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia) del sur de España. Bollettino Malacologico 24 (9-12): 189-204.
    Cervera, J. L., J. C. García-Gómez, and C. Megina. 2000. A new species of Trapania Pruvot-Fol, 1931 from the Bay of Cadiz, with remarks on other Trapania species (Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae). Ophelia 52(1): 17-24.
    Doneddu, M., E. Trainito, and G. Furfaro. 2020. Trapania graeffei (Bergh, 1881) (Gastropoda, Nudibranchia) is a valid Mediterranean species. Bollettino Malacologico, 56: 86-90.
    Gosliner, T. M., and S. J. Fahey. 2008. Systematics of Trapania (Mollusca: Nudibranchia: Goniodorididae) with descriptions of 16 new species. Systematics and Biodiversity 6(1): 53-98.
    Haefelfinger, H. R. 1960. Neue und wenig bekannte Opisthobranchier der Gattung Trapania und Caloria aus der Bucht von Villefranche-sur-mer. Revuie Suisse de Zoologie 67 (2): 226-236 [agosto].
    Haefelfinger, H. R. 1960. Catalogue des opisthobranches de la Rade de Villefranche-sur-Mer et ses environs (Alpes Maritimes). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 67(3):323-351.
    Marcus, Er. 1957. On opisthobranchia from Brazil 2. Journal of the Linnean Society of London (Zoology) 43(292): 390-486.
    Ortea, J. A., A. Quero, G. Rodriguez, and A. Valdés. 1989. Redescripción de Trapania tartanella (Ihering, 1986) (Mollusca: Nudibranchia). Bollettino Malacologico 25 (5-8): 241-246.
    Pruvot-Fol, A. 1954. Mollusques opisthobranches, Faune de France. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France.
    Rudman, W. B. 1987. The genus Trapania (Nudibranchia, Goniodorididae) in the Indo-West Pacific. J. Molluscan Stud. 53(2):189-212.
    Sammut, C. R., and A. S. Perrone. 1998. A preliminary check-list of Opisthobranchia (Mollusca, Gastropoda) from the Maltese Islands. Basteria 62(5-6): 221-240.
    Schmekel, L. 1968. Ascoglossa, Notaspidea und Nudibranchia im Litoral des Golfes von Neapel. Revue Suisse de Zoologie. 75: 103–155.
    Sordi, M., and P. Majidi. 1957. Osservazioni sui Nudibranchi e gli Ascoglossi (Gasteropodi Opistobranchi) del litorale Livornese. Bolletino di Pesca, Piscicoltura e Idrobiologia. 11: 235–245.

    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:

Pontes, Miquel (2023) "Trapania graeffei" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 19/07/2020. Accessed: 04/06/2023. Available at (

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