Hermaea paucicirra

Hermaea paucicirra  Pruvot-Fol, 1953

Hermaea paucicirra by Luis Ángel Díaz Álvarez

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
Superfamily: Limapontioidea  J.E. Gray, 1847
Family: Hermaeidae  H. Adams & A. Adams, 1854
Genus: Hermaea  Lovén, 1844
Species: Hermaea paucicirra  Pruvot-Fol, 1953

This is a small sized sacoglosan since specimens usually are 3-4 mm long with a maximum size of 6 mm. The body is semi-transparent white, highlighting the existence of pink-violet lines that run along the back and side walls of the body. The dorsal lines penetrate the inside of the rhinophores and cross the whole back towards the tail, at times are discontinuous lines. Lateral lines pass under the cerata base and penetrate the anterior cephalic region where they widen somewhat. At the base of the first cerata there is a connection between dorsal and lateral lines on each side. At the base of the cerata on each side there are also lines of the same color that run towards the tail and join at the tip. The head is very short but instead the rhinophores are very developed in relation to the size of the animal. The rhinophores are auriculate and narrow at the base, but then they widen progressively and finally narrow in the apex, they are semitransparent except the inside face, colored purplish due to the extension of the back lines, and may also have whitish granulations. The eyes are very visible in the rear of the base of the rhinophores. The cerata are very few in numbers (the specific name of the species means this), only 8-10 on each side of the body, they are of different sizes and globose, semitransparent and the digestive gland inside is brownish or dark green, while white granulations may be also in the surface epithelium of the larger cerata. The anus is at the end of a small conical papilla before the cardiac area, located at neat the front cerata. Genitalia are located between the eye and the first cerata on the right side.

Very little known about the biology of this species. It has been cited living or feeding on green algae as Codium fragile or rhodophycean as Halurus equisetifolius and other filamentous red algae, on which it is completely unnoticed. It has also been collected, in the Mediterranean, on rhizomes of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica and on shallow stones covered with photophilic seaweed.


  • Hermaea. Derived from Hermes, character of the Greek Mythology.
  • Paucicirra. Derived from the combination of the Latin words pauci, meaning ‘few’, and cirrata, meaning ‘fringed’, and refers to the few dorsal cerata.

Hermaea paucicirra was described in 1953 by Pruvot-Fol without seeing the animal and based only on a watercolor painted by Gantes. Native to the Atlantic coast of Morocco, it has subsequently been cited in the Bassin d’Arcachon (French Atlantic coast), in all coastal areas of the Iberian Peninsula, both Atlantic and Mediterranean, and the Canary Islands. In Catalonia it has been cited in Cala Sant Francesc, Blanes and Sa Tuna (Begur).

Known georeferenced records of the species: Hermaea paucicirra
: 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 observation probability for Hermaea paucicirra based on our own records.

More pictures


Further reading

Cite this article as:

Ballesteros, Manuel, Enric Madrenas, Miquel Pontes et al. (2012-2017) "Hermaea paucicirra" in OPK-Opistobranquis, Published: 24/10/2012, Accessed: 18/12/2017 at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/o49AF)

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