Elysia flava

Elysia flava (Verrill,1901)

Elysia flava by Enric Madrenas

Class: Gastropoda  Cuvier, 1797
Subclass: Heterobranchia  J.E. Gray, 1840
Clade: Euthyneura  Spengel, 1881
Clade: Panpulmonata  Jörger et al., 2010
Clade: Sacoglossa  von Ihering, 1876
Subclade: Plakobranchacea  Jensen, 1996
Superfamily: Plakobranchoidea  J.E. Gray, 1840
Family: Plakobranchidae  J.E. Gray, 1840
Genus: Elysia  Risso, 1818
Species: Elysia flava  Verrill, 1901

The specimens of this species can reach more than 20 mm in length. The head is small and rhinophores are short and curled. The eyes are behind the base of the rhinophores. The parapodia are quite large, with a scalloped or undulating edge and have small conical tubercles which are also found in smaller quantities in the inner and outer parapodia. The overall body color is yellowish-green more or less homogeneous, except on the edge of the parapodia and the tubercules, which are white. With the aid of a binocular microscopy small reddish spots can be seen in the head and on the inner side of the parapodia. There are whitish granulations that conform a curved line extending from the anterior edge of the parapodia until the prominence of the heart, located in the region of the back, where the parapodia start. From the cardiac area there can be seen, by transparency, two thick greenish nervations, one on each side of the body, belonging to the digestive gland, that progressively branch towards the edges of the parapodia. The foot is also yellowish-green color, with a short tail behind the back of the parapodia.

There is no information regarding its preferred habitat, the algae that feeds on, nor reproduction.


  • Elysia. It is a girl’s name of Latin origin, derived from the word Elysium, which in mythology is the home of the blessed, known as the “Elysian fields”. The name Elysia also means “God’s oath” in Hebrew. Frieder Sauer comments that Elysia means heavenly.
  • Flava. From Latin flāvus, yellow, golden, blond, flaxen.

This is an anfiatlantic distribution species, being cited originally in Bermuda, it has been found also in Jamaica, Tenerife, Madeira, and in the Mediterranean, in the coast of Tunisia and in the Aegean Sea. In the Iberian Peninsula it has been found off the coast of Almeria and Cabo de Palos (Murcia). This is a little known species in the Catalan coast and has been located only in Palamos.

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

References for the species: Elysia flava

    Levante: Ballesteros et al. (1986). Catalunya: Ballesteros (datos no publicados) [Palamós]. Canarias: Ortea (1981), Ortea et al. (1998, 2001), Moro et al. (2003). Madeira: Ortea, Moro and Espinosa (1997), Malaquias et al. (2001).

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

More Pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Elysia flava" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/05/2012, Accessed: 20/01/2018 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/AnLgr)

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