Runcina coronata

Runcina coronata (Quatrefages, 1844)

Runcina coronata by Luis Ángel Díaz Álvarez




































Runcina coronata  (Quatrefages, 1844)

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 141411).

  • 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


    Western Mediterranean:0 out of 5 stars
    Eastern Mediterranean:0 out of 5 stars
    Atlantic Ocean:0 out of 5 stars

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Runcina coronata based on our own records.

More pictures


    Araujo, A. K., Pola, M., Malaquías, M. A. E., Ballesteros, M., Vitale, F., & Cervera, J. L. (2021). Molecular phylogeny of European Runcinida (Gastropoda,  Heterobranchia): the discover of an unexpected pool of complex species, with special reference to the case of Runcina coronata. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, XX, 1–28.
    Ballesteros, M. (2007). Lista actualizada de los opistobranquios (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira, 2(3), 163–188.
    Ballesteros, M., Pontes, M., & Madrenas, E. (2015). Opisthobranch from Medes Islands (Marine Protected Area, Costa Brava, Catalonia, NE Spain): 40 years of study. 5th IWO Porto, Portugal.
    Ballesteros, M., Madrenas, E., & Pontes, M. (2016). Actualización del catálogo de los moluscos opistobranquios (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira 6(2016): 1-28.
    Ballesteros, M., Madrenas, E., & Pontes, M. (2021). OPK - Opistobranquis [Reference].
    Cervera, J. L., García-Gómez, J. C., & García, F. J. (1991). The genus Runcina Forbes & Hanley, 1851 (Opisthobranchia, Cephalaspidea) in the Strait of Gibraltar, with de description of a new species from the Bay of Algeciras. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 57, 199–208. ://WOS:A1991GX37100019
    Cervera, J. L., Calado, G., Gavaia, C., Malaquías, M. A. E., Templado, J., Ballesteros, M., García-Gómez, J. C., & Megina, C. (2004). An annotated and updated checklist of the opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from Spain and Portugal (including islands and archipelagos). Boletín Instituto Español de Oceanografía, 20 (1-4): 1-111. L.
    Curini Galletti, M. C. (1988). Analysis of the karyotype of Runcina coronata (Gastropoda, Cephalaspidae). Cah. Biol. Mar. 29(3):313-318.
    De Quatrefages, J. L. A. (1844). Sur les Gasteropodes Phlébentérés (Phlebenterata Nob.), ordre nouveau de la classe des Ggastéropodes, proposé d’après l’examen anatomique et physiologiquedes genres Zéphyrine (Zephyrina Nob.), Actéon (Acteon Oken), Actéonie (Acteoniæ Nob.), Amphorine (Amphorina Nob.), Pavois (Pelta Nob.), Chalide (Chalidis Nob.). Annales Des Sciences Naturelles, (3)1: 129-183, Pl. 3-6.
    Flanders Marine Institute. (2018). Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase: Territorial Seas. Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase.
    García, J. C., López, C. M., Luque, A. A., & Cervera, J. L. (1986). Descripcion comparativa de Runcina aurata n sp y R coronata (Quatrefages, 1844) (Gastropoda: Opistobranchia). Cah. Biol Mar 27: 457-68.
    Grande, C., Templado, J., Cervera, J. L., & Zardoya, R. (2003). Molecular phylogeny of Euthyneura (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Molecular Biology and Evolution 21 (2): 303-313., 21(2), 303–313.
    Long, S. J. (2006). Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000. Bayside Books & Press, Tustin, CA, U.S.A. 672p.
    Luque, A. A. (1983). Contribución al conocimiento de los gasterópodos marinos de las costas de Málaga y Granada. Iberus 3: 51-74.
    Malaquias, M., Calado, G., Padula, V., Villani, G., & Cervera, J. L. (2009). Molluscan diversity in the North Atlantic Ocean: new records of opisthobranch gastropods from the Archipelago of the Azores. Marine Biodiversity, 2, e38.
    Malaquias, M. A. E., Mackenzie-Dodds, J., Bouchet, P., Gosliner, T. M., & Reid, D. G. (2009). A molecular phylogeny of the Cephalaspidea sensu lato (Gastropoda: Euthyneura): Architectibranchia redefined and Runcinacea reinstated. Zoologica Scripta 38(1): 23-41.
    McDonald, G. (2009). Bibliographia Nudibranchia. 2nd Online Edition, Annotated. 1072 pp  Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz.
    Menéndez, J. L., & Oliveros, J. (2004, 2015). Runcina coronata accessed through: AsturNatura on 2015-02-05.
    Ortea, J., Moro, L., Bacallado, J. J., & Sanchez, J. J. (2008). Nuevas aportaciones a la fauna de opistobranquios (Mollusca: Gasteropoda) de las islas Canarias. Vieraea 36: 129-136., 36, 129–136.
    Riedl, R. (1983). Fauna und Flora der Mittelmeeres, ein systematischer Meeresfuhrer fur Biologen und Naturfreunde, 836 pp. Paul Parey, Hamburg & Berlin.
    Rudman W.B. et al. (1998, 2010). Runcina coronata accessed through: Sea Slug Forum on 2014-12-14.
    Schmekel, L., & Cappellato, D. (2002). Contributions to the Runcinidae. II. Three new species and comparative studies on five established species of Runcina (Opisthobranchia Cephalaspidea) in the Mediterranean. Vie et Milieu 52 (2-3): 86-102.
    Smith, I. (2012, 2015). Runcina coronata accessed through: The Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland on 2015-05-18.
    Templado, J., & Villanueva, R. (2010). Checklist of Phylum Mollusca. pp. 148-198 In Coll, M., et al., 2010. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats. PLoS ONE 5(8):36pp.
    Trainito, E., & Doneddu, M. (2014). Nudibranchi del Mediterraneo (2a). Il Castello.
    WoRMS Editorial Board. (2021). World Register of Marine Species [Taxonomic Database]. WoRMS.

    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:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2021) "Runcina coronata" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 29/08/2012. Accessed: 05/08/2021. Available at (

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