Aegires palensis

Aegires palensis  Ortea, Luque & Templado, 1990

Aegires palensis @ Costa Brava (Spain) by Enric Madrenas

Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Clade: Nudipleura  Wägele & Willan, 2000
Order: Nudibranchia  Cuvier, 1817
Suborder: Euctenidiacea  Tardy, 1970
Infraorder: Doridacea  Thiele, 1931
Superfamily: Polyceroidea  Alder & Hancock, 1845
Family: Aegiretidae  P. Fischer, 1883
Genus: Aegires  Lovén, 1844
Species: Aegires palensis  Ortea, Luque & Templado, 1990

This is a species whose few observed specimens measure between 2 and 9 mm in length. The body color is yellowish cream but there are numerous white scores that give a lighter appearance to some areas of the body like the head and gill leaves; there are also brown or olive green rounded or elongated  stains distributed throughout the body. The brown spots remain in the preserved animals. The front cephalic veil is rounded. All the dorsum, body flanks and tail have rounded apex tubercles of different sizes. The larger are on the back, forming four rows of two tubercles, two central rows and two rows on the sides. Tubercles of each row are connected by ridges and the 4 ridges converge in front of another mid-dorsal ridge ahead of the more anterior central tubercles, passing between the rhinophores and branching ahead of them finishing into the two tubercles on the back of the head . There is also a row of tubercles along the flanks of the body. Body tubercles often have a brown spot at the end. The rhinophores are smooth and light coloured but have 1 or 2 darker colored bands near the tip; the rhinophoric sheath opens upward and has three outer lobes and three internal lobes (Ortea et al. 1990). The gill consists of three small white tripinnate leaves that are protected on the front and sides by 3-4 thick tubercles similar to the ones on the rest of the body. The edges of the foot are often also stained brown.

Because of the few known specimens of this species (4) very little is known of its biology. We know at least that it can live from shallow bottoms (3 m) between rocks and Posidonia oceanica (Seas Slug Forum), among masses of algae with epibiont sponges and bryozoans and organic detritus bottoms to 34 m deep.


  • Aegires, related to the Norse and Celtic god of the seashore and ocean, Aegir. Although he was feared for causing storms when angry, he was also reknowned for his hospitality as the brewer of beer for the gods, the sea foam being considered homologous with the froth on a glass of beer.
  • Palensis. From the Cape of Palos, in SE Spain, near the type locality for the species.

So far this species has only been observed in the western Mediterranean coast: in the coast of Almería (Spain), in the Cape of Palos (Cervera et al., 2004), in the French Mediterranean (Sea Slug Forum) and, very recently, in Es Caials (Cadaqués) in the Spanish Costa Brava (VIMAR observation).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Aegires palensis
: 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 observation probability for Aegires palensis based on our own records.

More pictures

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Aegires palensis" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 12/04/2015, Accessed: 23/01/2018 at (

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