Quijote cervantesi

Quijote cervantesi   Ortea, Moro & Bacallado, 2016

Quijote cervantesi @ Taliarte, Gran Canaria, 7-08-2014 by Pablo Samper Méndez







































Quijote cervantesi  Ortea, Moro & Bacallado, 2016

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 932598).
Small sized Pleurobranchacean (the specimens found so far are around 10mm long), the mantle without spicules, coloured translucent white and decorated with reddish brown spots that may cover its central part quite evenly, also some bright white spots sprayed near the edge of the mantle, absent in some specimens. The thinness of the mantle usually allows to observe by transparency the yellowish brown fragile inner shell, shaped like an ear. It has two folds in the mantle, at times bordered in orange: the anterior one is quite broad, surrounding the birth of the rhinophores, while the second, smaller, is located in the rear part of the mantle, and is able to rise up forming some kind of siphon. The translucent white foot may have some reddish brown dorsal stains, it has no metapodial gland, and protrudes broadly behind the mantle, with a incised posterior border and a furrowed and cleft anterior border. The oral tentacles are white and are formed from the ends of the head veil. The rhinophores grow vertically on the dorsal part of the head, they are white, auriculate and tappered, with a shape similar to a rabbit’s ear, despite they are joined at their base (coloured reddish brown). Two black eyes, arranged very close together, are located right behind the base of the rhinophores. The bipinnate gill is white, inserted at one third of the length of the body, right behind a genital prominence located on its right side, and reaches the posterior edge of the body. The gill has a smooth rachis and 20 pairs of pinnas with a tubercle located at the base of each one. The anus opens under a body fold located right above the posterior end of the gill, close to the rear fold of the mantle. This species lacks a radula, one of the traits of the Quijotidae family, newly proposed for this species.

Little is known of its biology because it has been recently and rarely found. It seems to live in soft bottoms covered with seaweeds, and it’s mostly active at night. It swells the sole of the foot like a balloon when disturbed, and lets itself to be carried away by the current (Ortea et al., 2016). Due to the anterior and posterior folds of the mantle, which seem to be used to allow a better oxygenation of the gill by circulating water, this species may be confused with a juvenile specimen of Pleurobranchus membranaceus (Montagu, 1816) but they can be told appart because of the different gill structure, the lacking radula, the rabbit ears shaped rhinophores, the eyes laid close together behind the rhinophores, and other anatomical details. Also, last but not least, by the fact Pleurobranchus membranaceus has not been yet cited for the Canary Islands.


  • Quijote. Dedicated to Don Quixote, the main character of the masterpiece of Miguel de Cervantes, in the fourth centenary of this author’s death.
  • Cervantesi. In honor of Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616), on the fourth centenary of his death.

Ortea et al. (2016) indicate that this species is present in Tenerife (Playa de las Teresitas in 1994 and Punta del Hidalgo in 2016). It has also been found in Gran Canaria (Taliarte, 08/07/2014 by José Juan Calderín Peñate and Pablo Samper Méndez, and Tufia, 04/07/2016 by José Juan Calderín Peñate), specimens shown in the accompanying photos.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Quijote cervantesi
: 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 monthly observation probability for Quijote cervantesi based on our own records.

More pictures


    Ballesteros M, Madrenas E, Pontes M. 2024. OPK - Opistobranquis. Available from https://opistobranquis.info/.
    Ortea JJ, Moro L, Bacallado JJ. 2016. Nueva familia, nuevo género y nueva especie de Pleurobranchomorpha (Mollusca: Heterobranchia), descritos con motivo del cuarto centenario de la publicación de El Quijote. Rev.Acad. Canar. Cienc., Vol. XXVIII, 215-224.
    WoRMS Editorial Board. 2023. World Register of Marine Species. WoRMS. Available from http://www.marinespecies.org.

    Bibliography based on the works by Steve Long, 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000 and Gary McDonald, 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia, with later updates from other resources.

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel, Manuel Ballesteros, Enric Madrenas (2023) "Quijote cervantesi" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 12/12/2016. Accessed: 18/05/2024. Available at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/?p=23034)

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