Cadlina laevis

Cadlina laevis (Linnaeus, 1767)

Cadlina laevis (Portugal) by João Pedro Silva

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: Doridoidea  Rafinesque, 1815 
Family: Cadlinidae  Bergh, 1891 
Genus: Cadlina  Bergh, 1878 
Species: Cadlina laevis (Linnaeus, 1767) [Doris]

Taxonomic note: The family Cadlinidae Bergh, 1891 was considered a synonym of the Chromodorididae. Research by R.F. Johnson in 2011 has shown that Cadlina does not belong to the family Chromodorididae. She has therefore brought back the name Cadlinidae from synonymy with Chromodorididae. The chromodorid nudibranchs without Cadlina are now monophyletic and turn out to be a possible sister to the Actinocyclidae.


  • Cadlina boscai Tejedo, 1994
  • Cadlina repanda (Alder & Hancock, 1842)
  • Doris laevis Linnaeus, 1767 (original)
  • Doris marginata Montagu, 1804
  • Doris obvelata Müller O.F., 1776
  • Doris planulata Stimpson, 1853
  • Doris repanda Alder & Hancock, 1842

This species of doridacean can reach about 30 mm in length. The body is oval, very flat and completely white except the mantle margin that in some specimens can be yellow due to the presence of numerous spots of the same color. All the dorsum is covered with small rounded tubercles of two different sizes. Occasionally, larger tubercles form a sort of circle near the dorsum margins. The rhinophores are short and white, semitransparent in the alaminar base and more opaque or slightly dark in the laminar zone. The laminar area of the rhinophores has 13-15 white lamellae and has a club shaped apex. The rhinophoric sheath is not very high and also has rounded tubercles on its upper edge. The gill leaves are also white. The mouth has a pair of short white palps. The white foot is wide and in its posterior side turns into a triangular tail protruding below the rear side of the mantle. The dorsal region of the tail also has rounded tubercles and the margin can be yellowish.

This species can live on rocky substrates from the intertidal zone to several hundred meters deep. It has been cited on different sponges and indicated that feeds on Dysidea fragilis, Hemimycale columella and fouling demosponge Halisarca dujardini. As a very interesting detail of its biology, it has been observed mating at the end of winter, where individuals, after copulation, produce ovigerous coiled ribbons of 2.5 mm in height. The eggs are pale cream coloured and very large, up to 370 microns, included in spherical capsules of about 600 microns; development is direct because the stage veliger larva occurs within the capsule, and hatching, which occurs about 50 days after the spawn, renders crawling juveniles about 800 microns long (Thompson, 1967).


  • Laevis. From Latin “laevis” or “levis”, smooth, flat, even.

This species is distributed throughout the North Atlantic, the Arctic, Iceland, Greenland, the coast of North America to Massachusetts and European coasts, from Norway to the Iberian Peninsula and the western Mediterranean. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been cited in Galicia, Portugal, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Levantine region, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. In the Catalan coast is a really uncommon species that has been observed in Cadaqués and the Medes islands.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Cadlina laevis
: 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 Cadlina laevis based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Cadlina laevis" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 22/09/2013, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (

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