Limacia inesae

Limacia inesae Toms, Pola, von der Heyden & Gosliner, 2021

Limacia inesae by Enric Madrenas
















































Limacia inesae  Toms, Pola, Von der Heyden & Gosliner, 2021

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 1475195).
Taxonomic note: Historically confused with Limacia clavigera, according to the work of Toms et al (2021), the species Limacia clavigera appears to be strictly distributed in Atlantic waters from Norway to the coasts of western Andalusia (Spain), while the specimens of Limacia inesae, smaller than those of the other species, are distributed throughout the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores.

Living animals measure up to 12 mm in length. Body shape is rectangular, tapering towards the triangular end of foot. Uniform white body, heavily spiculated, internal organs sometimes visible by transparency. Body encircled by a ridge of about 2–4 mm located above the edge of the foot, with 14–22 finger-like papillae projecting from the ridge, pointing upright or laterally. The papillae are of similar thickness throughout their length, with orange-coloured apices, and they are often shorter or missing in the central region of the body. Papillae around the oral veil grow closer to each other and are thinner, with the orange tips heavily spiculated. Projecting out from both sides of the mouth are the oral tentacles, which are shorter than the oral papillae and they are rolled longitudinally, with faint orange tips. Dorsum is covered by 6–9 raised orange tipped tubercles, arranged longitudinally along the mid-dorsal line. Rhinophores are white with orange tips, and quite large compared to the body size. They are retractile and perfoliate, having 10–14 lamellae. The gill is formed by 3 simple or bipinnate leaves, whose tips could be orange or white. There are lateral slots of unknown function located between the rhinophores and the oral tentacles.

Limacia inesae lives in dimly illuminated rocky walls with an abundance of sessile invertebrates, under rocks and on leaves of Posidonia oceanica with bryozoans. It has been reported on many species of bryozoans, some of which may be its food, as Aetea truncata, Caberea boryi, Celleporina hassalli, Chorizopora brongniarti, Cryptosula pallasiana, Electra pilosa, Escharella immersa, Escharina vulgaris, Hippodiplosia spp., Pentapora foliacea, Membranipora membranacea, Microporella ciliata, Parasmittina raigii, Porella concinna, Savignella lafonti, Schismopora avicularis,, Schizomavella spp., Schizobrachiella sanguinea, Schizoporella unicornis, Smittina reticulata and Umbonula littoralis (McDonald & Nybakken, 1999). The spawn consists of a ribbon coiled in a flat spiral with several whorls and white eggs.


  • Limacia. From Latin word “limax”, slug, viscous.
  • Inesae. species named after Inés Pola, daughter of the second author of the paper describing the species.

This species lives in the Mediterranean, from Gibraltar to Turkey, and it is also found in the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores. In the Southern Iberian Peninsula it is sympatric with Limacia clavigera.

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

Similar species
Limacia clavigera has numerous irregularly arranged tubercles on the notum, whereas Limacia inesae has a single row of tubercles along the dorsal median line. L. clavigera may reach 30 mm in length and is commonly found to be 15–20 mm in length, while L. inesae reaches a maximum length of 12 mm. L. clavigera has between 20–24 lateral appendages while L. inesae has between 14–22. Limacia iberica has a single row of tubercles in the dorsum like L. inesae, but L. iberica has scattered dorsal tubercles ahead of rhinophores, which are absent in L. inesae. L. iberica has many more lateral appendages (circa 50) with white tips, while L. inesae has between 14-22, all orange tipped.


    Western Mediterranean:2 out of 5 stars
    Eastern Mediterranean:1 out of 5 stars
    Atlantic Ocean:0 out of 5 stars

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Limacia inesae based on our own records.


Filmed on 10/03/2018 at Port de la Selva, Girona, Spain by Miquel Pontes


More pictures


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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel (2021) "Limacia inesae" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 09/01/2021. Accessed: 27/01/2021. Available at (

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