Pleurobranchus testudinarius (Cantraine, 1835)
Class: Gastropoda Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura Spengel, 1881
Clade: Nudipleura Wägele & Willan, 2000
Subclade: Pleurobranchomorpha Schmekel, 1985
Superfamily: Pleurobranchoidea J.E. Gray, 1827
Family: Pleurobranchidae J.E. Gray, 1827
Genus: Pleurobranchus Cuvier, 1804
Species: Pleurobranchus testudinarius Cantraine, 1835
- Daudebardia tarentina de Stefani & Pantanelli, 1879
- Pleurobranchus denotarisi Vérany, 1846
- Pleurobranchus mammillatus Schultz in Philippi, 1836
This is a large species because it can reach more than 20 cm in length. The mantle is very domed and very broad, completely covering the foot. The color of the adult animal is orange-red or dark purple, but in the young speciments it is of a lighter shade. The mantle has conical protuberances that are larger in the center and whose bases are surrounded by thin purple lines. In the anterior part of the mantle there’s a slit hiding the insertion point of the rhinophores. The cephalic veil is underdeveloped. The gill is yellowish and has 18 to 30 lamellae on either side of the central shaft, its big size frequently makes it protrude from the mantle. The foot is yellowish and on its back zone there is a “pedia” gland.
Apparently it feeds on certain species of colonial tunicates although data suggest that it could be a scavenger too. Very little is known about the biology of this species. It is believed it has nocturnal habits, during the day hiding under rocks or inside caves.
- Pleurobranchus. From Greek Pleuron, “side” + Bragchia, “gill”.
- Testudinarius. From Latin testūdin- (root of testūdō) turtle, pertaining to or resembling a turtle or turtle shell.
Distribution predominantly Mediterranean, this species has also been recently cited for the Azores and the Canary Islands. In the Catalan coast has been observed in different locations on sandy bottoms from about 20 m depth, but also in underwater caves of the Costa Brava.
| : OBIS|
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
| : OPK|
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions
References for the species: Pleurobranchus testudinarius
- Andalucía (Atl.): Templado et al. (1993b).
Andalucía (Med.): Moreno and Templado (1998), Schick (1998), Sánchez Tocino, Ocaña and García (2000a), Ocaña et al 2000), Peñas et al. (in press).
Levante: Templado (1982b, as Susania).
Catalunya: Ros (1975, 1978b, citada como Susania testudinaria), Domènech et al. (2006), M@re Nostrum [Gat de Norfeu (Roses)].
Baleares: Ros and Gili (1985), Ballesteros (1998) (both as Susania).
Canarias: Ortea et al. (2001), Moro et al. (2003), Wirtz and Debelius (2003).
Madeira: Wirtz (unpubl. data).
Azores: Wirtz and Martins (1993), Wirtz (1992, 1998), Ávila et al. (1998), Ávila (2000), Malaquias (2001), Wirtz and Debelius (2003).
Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007 & 2016, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.
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