Runcina coronata

Runcina coronata (Quatrefages, 1844)

Runcina coronata by Luis Ángel Díaz Álvarez

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 coronata (Quatrefages, 1844) [Pelta]


  • Pelta coronata de Quatrefages, 1844 (original)
  • Runcina aurata Garcia-Gomez, Lopez, Luque & Cervera, 1986
  • Runcina calaritana Colosi, 1915
  • Runcina hancocki Forbes [in Forbes & Hanley], 1850

This species can reach a length of 6 mm, but it generally measures between 2 and 3 mm. Like all limaciform species it looks and may be confused with a small turbelarian or a sacoglossan opisthobranch of the gender Limapontia. The cephalic region and mantle are fused with no line between them. The front part of the cephalic region is generaly bilobed and the foot protrudes slightly all round the animal, forming a well-defined tail on the back. The notum and foot form a subpaleal groove or slit that in the posterior zone contains 3 small semitransparent branchial leaves. The color is usually dark brown, almost black, with the sides of the head region of a clearer shade. There are white granulations forming a nearly continuous transverse white band delimiting the head from the rest of the back. These grains also form a white band on the posterior zone of the back. The rest of the back is covered with more scattered granulations. The foot is grayish, almost transparent, and can also have white granulations. The center of the tail is colored dark brown.

Runcina coronata is the flag species of the genus, being originally described by Quatrefages under the name of Pelta coronata. This species usually lives between calcareous coralline algae from the intertidal zone to a depth of several meters. In the Mediterranean it is also located between the Posidonia oceanica rhizomes. It is a herbivorous species that feeds on the very same algae it lives on, or diatoms and other fouling organisms that live on algae. It has direct development, lacking the larval phase.


  • Runcina. From Latin “runcina”, carpenter’s plane, a tool used to smooth the wood’s surface.
  • Coronata. From latin “corona”, crown.

It is found in all European coasts, both Atlantic and Mediterranean, and is also cited in the Azores. In the Iberian Peninsula it can be found in all coastal areas. In Catalonia it has been cited in Cadaqués only, however, the species of this genus are poorly studied due to its small size and crypsis on the algae it lives on, so presumably it has a more general distribution.

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

References for the species: Runcina coronata

    Cantabria: Ortea (1977c), Ballesteros and Ortea (1981). Galicia: Ballesteros and Ortea (1981), Urgorri and Besteiro (1983). Portugal: Calado et al. (1999, 2005). Andalucía (Atl.): García-Gómez, et al. (1986, as R. aurata), Templado et al. (1993a). Gibraltar: García-Gómez et al. (1989), Cervera, García-Gómez and García (1991), Sánchez-Moyano et al. (2000). Andalucía (Med.): Luque (1983, 1986), García-Gómez et al. (1989, as R. aurata), Salas and Hergueta (1986, 1987). Levante: Templado (1982b, 1983, 1984), Marín and Ros (1987). Catalunya: Ballesteros (datos no publicados) [Cadaqués]. Azores: Gosliner (1990), Mikkelsen (1995), Ávila (2000) (all these authors refer to this species as R. aurata García et al., 1986 which is a junior synonym of R. coronata. For a discussion see Cervera, García-Gómez and García (1991: 200-201)) and Malaquias (2001).

    Sources: Cervera et al., 2004, Ballesteros, 2007 & 2016, McDonald, 2006 and other sources.


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

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Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Runcina coronata" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 29/08/2012, Accessed: 19/01/2018 at (

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