Trapania lineata

Trapania lineata Haefelfinger, 1960

Trapania lineata by Enric Madrenas













































Trapania lineata  Haefelfinger, 1960

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 140043).
This sea slug typically measures between 10 mm and 15 mm in length. The whitish body is plump in its central area, more or less dark brown in the center deppending if /what it has been eating, and decorated with iridescent white lines that run along the back, sides of the body, head, oral tentacles, rhinophores, tail and, in certain cases, also along the axis of the branchial leaves. There is a couple of pallial tentaculiform processes, directed backwards, at the sides of the rhinophores and two processes more at the sides of the gill. The oral tentacles are usually pigmented yellow-orange, as are the tips of the rhinophores and gill leaves, propodial palps, the anterior and posterior pallial fingerlike processes and the end of the tail. The rhinophores are long and wide, with the basal portion without lamellae and of the same colour of the body, and the laminar portion coloured yellow. The gill consists of three gill leaves, one in central position and two on the sides, they have a wide rachis and are tripinnate. Among the gill leaves there are usually found copepod ectoparasites. The light beige coloured anal papilla is located right behind the gill leaves. The foot is relatively narrow and of the same color of the body, in its front side there are two backwards directed finger-like propodial palps, pigmented yellow in its distal half.

This is not a common species and usually lives in dimly lit rocky walls with an abundance of algae, sponges and hydroids, also inside caves. It feeds on entoprocta (Kamptozoa) of the genus Loxosomella (Cattaneo-Vietti et al. 1990). No other details of its biology are known.


  • 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.
  • Lineata. From Latín “lineatus”, with lines, lined.

This species is, so far, endemic of the Mediterranean Sea. It has been reported on the Mediterranean coast of France, Sardinia, Turkey and from the Strait of Gibraltar in all the Iberian Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands (Cervera et al. 2004). In the Catalan coast it has been reported or observed in cala Es Caials, Cadaqués, L’Escala, Medes islands, Palamos, Formigues islands, Blanes, Mataró and La Pineda (Salou).

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


    Western Mediterranean:2 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 Trapania lineata based on our own records.

More pictures


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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2020) "Trapania lineata" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 15/05/2012, Accessed: 18/09/2020 at (

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