Berthella africana

Berthella africana (Pruvot-Fol, 1953)

Berthella africana @ Taliarte, Gran Canaria 25-07-2014 by José Juan Calderín Peñate

Taxonomy
 

Superdomain

Biota  

 

Kingdom

Animalia  

 

Phylum

Mollusca  

 

Class

Gastropoda  

 

Subclass

Heterobranchia  

 

Infraclass

Euthyneura  

 

Subterclass

Ringipleura  

 

Order

Pleurobranchomorpha  

 

Superfamily

Pleurobranchoidea  

 

Family

Pleurobranchidae  

 

Genus

Berthella  

 

Species

Berthella africana  (Pruvot-Fol, 1953)

 
 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 181220).
Synonyms

  • Berthella canariensis Cervera, Gosliner, García-Gómez & Ortea, 2000
  • Berthellina africana Pruvot-Fol, 1953

According to Ortea at al. (2012), the description of Berthella canariensis Cervera, Gosliner, García-Gómez and Ortea, 2009, made from a single specimen found in Gran Canaria, did not take into account the unique color variability of Berthella africana related to the age of the specimen , so nowadays B. canariensis  is considered a synonym of B. africana.

Description
The body can reach a length of 42mm, although its usual size is about 25mm. The mantle, which has no spicules, is smooth and completely covers the foot of the animal, but for its rear end. The body color varies from light beige to gray or brown, with darker spots scattered all over the dorsum. If observed with a microscope the dark spots are formed by more or less dense red spots, arranged in small circles around the small tubercles protruding on the skin. In some specimens there is a series of opaque white spots on the dorsum, but in much smaller numbers than the dark spots. It has a characteristic black spot in the center of the mantle. The inner shell is small and located towards the back of the animal, although it is missing in some specimens. The rhinophores are tubular and they are joined at their base. The oral veil is smooth, striated on the lateral edges, and can be observed ahead of the mantle. The foot, whitish and translucent in some specimens, is bilabiated anteriorly. The genital openings, described as a round hole and a slit, are located on the right side of the animal, on a small nipple, at the base of the gill, always protected by an outer fold (flap) that varies according to the size and maturity of the animal. The bipinnated gill is not usually seen in live animals, as it is covered by the mantle, but it is not very big and has a smooth rachis in smaller animals while in the adult specimens the rachis has a series of tubercles alternately arranged in two rows. The pedal gland is not observed on the rear end of the foot.

Biology
It usually lives in shallow water, as it has been always found from the intertidal down to 14 meters depth.

Etymology

  • Berthella. Probably dedicated to Sabin Berthelot (1794-1880), a French naturalyst who enrolled the Navy and participated in the Napoleonic wars. He lived part of his life at the Canary islands, in his post as French consul in Tenerife. He wrote the “Historia Natural de Canarias” and directed the Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz.
  • Africana. From Africa, the continent where it was first found.

Distribution
Berthella africana is distributed along the Atlantic coast of Morocco (type locality: Temara) and the Canary Islands, where it is considered rare, with some findings in the Bay of Gando, in Taliarte and the Playa del Cabrón (in Gran Canaria ), also in Igueste de San Andres, Las Eras and Punta del Hidalgo (Tenerife).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Berthella africana
Sources:
: OBIS
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: GBIF.ORG
: OPK
: VIMAR
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions

Abundance

    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:

More pictures

Bibliography

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2012-2018) "Berthella africana" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 20/09/2016, Accessed: 20/06/2018 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/tATqH)

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