Runcina africana

Runcina africana (Pruvot-Fol, 1953)

Specimen of Runcina africana photographed in the Costa Brava (Spain)

Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Clade: Euopisthobranchia  Jörger et al., 2010
Clade:  Runcinacea  Burn, 1963
Superfamily: Runcinoidea  H. Adams & A. Adams, 1854
Family: Runcinidae  J.E. Gray, 1857
Genus: Runcina  Forbes & Hanley, 1851
Species: Runcina africana (Pruvot-Fol, 1953)

Specimens of this species usually measure between 3 and 3.5 mm in length. The general body color is very dark brown, almost black, with two creamy-white irregular lines that traverse the anterior and posterior region of the dorsum, the first delimiting the head. In the front of the head there are two small rounded cephalic lobes. The largest specimens may have numerous small white scores scattered on the dorsum. This is slightly wider than the foot but , in the front and at the head level there are two small protruding pedal lobes. On the back of the head there are two clear oval stains where the eyes are visible. In side view there are some slightly dark iridisations that can be seen on the lateral edge of the mantle and on the foot. In ventral view, the foot is homogenous black-brown color, slightly lighter than the dorsum and with the foot lateral edges slightly lighter than the rest of the foot; there could be a slightly orange color in the center. The tail is short and wide and has a creamy white color background, pigmented dorsally by large irregular spots. Between the posterior region of the dorsum and the tail there are three protruding gill leaves tightly overlapped of the same color of the body, the center leaf is the largest and has about 4 short lamellae.

There are very few data of this species presence, so little is known about its biology. Like other species of the genus, because of its small size it is very cryptic on the substrate and usually only appears when infralittoral algae are collected and studied in the laboratory. Thus it has been cited among coralline algae and Jania rubens (Cervera et al., 1991), between algae Codium vermilara, Halopteris sp., soft stipe rhodophyceae algae and calcareous algae (Correa, 2012).


  • Runcina. From Latin “runcina”, carpenter’s plane, a tool used to smooth the wood’s surface.
  • Africana, from Africa, origin of the type specimens for the species, collected in the Atlantic shores of Morocco.

Runcina africana was described by Pruvot-Fol in 1953 based on specimens collected in the intertidal zone of Temara, Atlantic coast of Morocco (Pruvot-Fol 1953). Since then it has only been collected in the town of Punta Carnero, in the intertidal zone of the Strait of Gibraltar (Cervera et al 1991), in the Canary islands (Ortea & Moro, 1999) and more recently Schmekel & Capellato (2002), have collected them in Banyuls sur Mer (French Costa Brava). In the Catalan coast it has been observed on the coast of the Cap de Creus, Cala Margarida (Palamós) and Blanes.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Runcina africana
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions

References for the species: Runcina africana


    Western Mediterranean:
    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Atlantic Ocean:
This chart displays the observation probability for Runcina africana based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Runcina africana" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/08/2013, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (

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