Elysia gordanae

Elysia gordanae (Thompson & Jaklin, 1988)

Elysia gordanae, S. Maria al Bagno, Lecce, Puglia, Italia (12/10/2014) by Fabio Vitale

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 gordanae  Thompson & Jaklin, 1988

Specimens of this species can grow up to 30 mm in length. The general color is greenish but it is not homogeneous, and there are usually numerous white and pink scores and granulations that lightens the hue of the body. On both sides of the head there are very faintly pigmented iridescent blue areas. The rhinophores are narrow, are rolled and are relatively short; their color is greenish and they are sprayed with white spots. The eyes are very visible right behind the rhinophores base. The parapodia are underdeveloped and use to open in angle in its anterior third. The edge of the parapodia is thickened and edged with a darker green with small whitish bumps. The dorsal vessels are very inconspicuous.

This species usually lives among green algae from the intertidal zone to down to 30 m depth. This species has been found on algae and Bryopsis and Derbesia noted that feeds the algae Cladophora chlorophycean and is able to retain their chloroplasts in his body, with a high turnover rate (Marín & Ros, 1988). The setting is a thick whitish cord wound in a spiral ondulosa (Gofas, Moreno & Salas, 2011). 


  • 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.
  • Gordanae. In honour of Gordana Jaklin (19??-) likely related to one of the authors.

In addition to the type locality on the coast of Slovenia, the species has been cited only in the Iberian Peninsula (Andalusian coast, Levantine and Catalan), Canary Islands, Azores (Cervera et al. 2004) and Balearic Islands (Menorca). In Catalonia, it has been observed in Es Caials, L’Escala and the Medes Islands.

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

References for the species: Elysia gordanae

    Andalucía (Atl.): Cervera and López-González (1996). Andalucía (Med.): García Raso et al. (1992). Canarias: Ortea et al. (1998, 2001, 2003, all as E. margaritae), Moro et al. (2003, as E. margaritae), Wirtz and Debelius (2003, as E. margaritae). Azores: Wirtz and Debelius (2003, as E. margaritae).

    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 Elysia gordanae based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes (2012-2018) "Elysia gordanae" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 14/05/2012, Accessed: 20/01/2018 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/IiP74)

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