Runcina ferruginea

Runcina ferruginea (Kress, 1977)

Runcina ferruginea by Enric Madrenas




































Runcina ferruginea  Kress, 1977

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 141412).

This is a species whose specimens rarely exceed 4 mm. The body is narrow and elongated, limaciforme, with homogeneous reddish-brown coloration that honors the specific name. The center of the back can be somewhat darker due to the viscera. In some specimens the color can be blackish or orange, so it can be confused with small turbellarians (triclades). None of the specimens shows dark or light spots. The head region has light side lobes. The eyes are located near the front of the cephalic area. The foot is colored slightly lighter than the body, with long rounded tail. Beneath the rear of the notum there are 3 small semitransparent unipinnate gills.

No details are known of its biology. Like other species of Runcina it is believed to have herbivore eating habits.


  • Runcina. From Latin “runcina”, carpenter’s plane.
  • Ferruginea. From Latin, feminine singular of “ferrūgineus”, meaning “rust colored”.

The specific name clearly identifies the reddish coloration of this species. It has Atlantic and Mediterranean distribution. In the Iberian Peninsula it is known from the Cantabrian coast, Galicia, coast of Portugal, Gibraltar Strait, and south eastern coast. In Catalonia it is cited based on a single specimen collected in Es Caials (north Costa Brava).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Runcina ferruginea
: 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 Runcina ferruginea based on our own records.

More pictures


    Araujo AK, Pola M, Malaquías MAE, et al. 2022. 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, Madrenas E, Pontes M. 2016. Actualización del catálogo de los moluscos opistobranquios (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira. 6:1–28.
    Ballesteros M, Madrenas E, Pontes M. 2023. OPK - Opistobranquis. Available from
    Cervera JL, García-Gómez JC, García FJ. 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. Available from ://WOS:A1991GX37100019.
    Cervera JL, Calado G, Gavaia C, et al. 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.
    Correa M, Madrenas E, Riesgo A, et al. 2015. First molecular approach to the study of Mediterranean Runcina Forbes [in Forbes & Hanley], 1851 (Heterobranchia: Runcinacea).
    Fernández-Ovies CL. 1983. Notas sobre la anatomía e histología de un ejemplar de Runcina ferruginea Kress, 1977 (Opisthobranchia: Runcinacea) recolectado en Asturias. Boletín de Ciencias de la Naturaleza del Instituto de Estudios Asturianos 31: 153-168.
    Furfaro G, Vitale F, Licchelli C, et al. 2020. Two Seas for One Great Diversity: Checklist of the Marine Heterobranchia (Mollusca; Gastropoda) from the Salento Peninsula (South-East Italy). Diversity. 12(12):171.
    Kress A. 1977. Runcina ferruginea s sp (Cephalaspidea: Opisthobranchia: Gastropoda), a new runcinid from Great Britain. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 57:201-211.
    Kress A. 1985. A structural analysis of the spermatophore of Runcina ferruginea Kress (Opisthobranchia: Cephalaspidea). J Mar Biol Ass UK 65: 337-342.
    Long SJ. 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000. Bayside Books & Press, Tustin, CA, U.S.A. 672p.
    Marín A, Ros J. 1987. Catálogo preliminar de los gasterópodos marinos del sudeste español. Iberus 7 (1): 137-145.
    McDonald G. 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia. 2nd Online Edition, Annotated. 1072 pp  Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz. Available from
    Ortea J, Moro L. 1999. Estudio de las especies del género Runcina Forbes & Hanley, 1853 (Opisthobranchia: Cephalaspidea) de coloración rojiza (grupo «ferruginea» en la Macaronesia, con la descripción de tres especies nuevas. Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias, 11(3-4): 63-74.
    Ortea JA, Urgorri V. 1981. Runcina ferruginea Kress 1977, et Pruvotfolia pselliotes (Labbe, 1923) dans les eaux Iberiques. Vie et Milieu 31(2):149-151.
    Ortea J, Moro L, Bacallado JJ. 2013. Descripción de nuevas especies del género Runcina Forbes & Hanley, 1853 (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia: Runcinacea) de las islas Canarias. Vieraea 41: 35-52. [November 2013].
    Prkić J, Petani A, Iglić Ð, et al. 2018. Stražnjoškržnjaci Jadranskoga Mora: Slikovni Atlas i Popis Hrvatskih Vrsta / Opisthobranchs of the Adriatic Sea: Photographic Atlas and List of Croatian Species. Bibinje: Ronilaćki Klub Sveti Roko. 464 p. Available from
    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.
    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.
    Thompson TE. 1980. New species of the bullomorph genus Runcina from the Northern Adriatic Sea. Journal of Molluscan Studies 46: 154-157.
    WoRMS Editorial Board. 2023. World Register of Marine Species. WoRMS. Available from

    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, M., Madrenas, E. & Pontes, M. (2023) "Runcina ferruginea" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 29/08/2012. Accessed: 02/03/2024. Available at (

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