Elysia flava

Elysia flava (Verrill,1901)

Elysia flava by Enric Madrenas




































Elysia flava  Verrill, 1901

 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 139679).
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


    Ballesteros, M. 2007. Lista actualizada de los opistobranquios (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira. 2: 163–188.
    Ballesteros, M., A. Barrajón, A. Luque, D. Moreno, P. Talavera, and J. Templado. 1986. Contribución al conocimiento de los Moluscos Gasterópodos marinos de Almería. Iberus, 6: 39-57.
    Ballesteros, M., E. Madrenas, and M. Pontes. 2021. OPK - Opistobranquis. (https://opistobranquis.info/).
    Ballesteros, M., E. Madrenas, and M. Pontes. 2016. Actualización del catálogo de los moluscos opistobranquios (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) de las costas catalanas. Spira 6(2016): 1-28.
    Caballer, M., J. Ortea, N. Rivero, G. Carias-Tucker, M. A. E. Malaquías, and S. Narciso. 2015. The opisthobranch gastropods (Mollusca: Heterobranchia) from Venezuela: an annotated and illustrated inventory of species. Zootaxa 4034 (2): 201–256.
    Cervera, J. L., G. Calado, C. Gavaia, M. A. E. Malaquías, J. Templado, M. Ballesteros, J. C. García-Gómez, and C. Megina. 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.
    Flanders Marine Institute. 2018. Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase: Territorial Seas. Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase. (http://www.marineregions.org/).
    Furfaro, G., F. Vitale, C. Licchelli, and P. Mariottini. 2020. Two Seas for One Great Diversity: Checklist of the Marine Heterobranchia (Mollusca; Gastropoda) from the Salento Peninsula (South-East Italy). Diversity. 12: 171.
    García, F. J., J. S. Troncoso, and M. Domínguez. 2002. New data on the benthic Opisthobranch Molluscs from the Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha (Brazil), with description of a new species of Aegires Lovén, 1844. Iberus 20(2): 45-56.
    Krug, P. J., J. E. Vendetti, and Á. Valdés. 2016. Molecular and morphological systematics of Elysia Risso, 1818 (Heterobranchia: Sacoglossa) from the Caribbean region. Zootaxa. 4148(1): 1-137.
    Krug, P. J., J. E. Vendetti, and Á. Valdés. 2016. Molecular and morphological systematics of Elysia Risso, 1818 (Heterobranchia: Sacoglossa) from the Caribbean region. Zootaxa 4148 (1).
    Long, S. J. 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000. Bayside Books & Press, Tustin, CA, U.S.A. 672p.
    Malaquias, M., G. Calado, V. Padula, G. Villani, and J. L. Cervera. 2009. Molluscan diversity in the North Atlantic Ocean: new records of opisthobranch gastropods from the Archipelago of the Azores. Marine Biodiversity. 2: e38.
    Martín-Hervás, M. R., L. Carmona, K. R. Jensen, C. Licchelli, F. Vitale, and J. L. Cervera. 2020. Description of a new pseudocryptic species of Elysia Risso, 1818 (Heterobranchia, Sacoglossa) in the Mediterranean Sea. Bull Mar Sci. 96(1):127–143.
    McDonald, G. 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia. 2nd Online Edition, Annotated. 1072 pp  Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz. (http://escholarship.org/uc/item/8115h0wz).
    Moro, L., P. Wirtz, J. Ortea, and A. Cabrera. 2000. Cuatro nuevas especies anfiatlánticas del Orden Sacoglossa (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia).
    Moro, L., J. L. Martín Esquivel, M. J. Garrido Sanahuja, and I. Izquierdo Zamora. 2003. Lista de especies marinas de Canarias (algas, hongos, plantas y animales). Consejería de Política Territorial y Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Canarias.
    Ortea, J., and L. Moro. 2018. Nuevas citas y nuevos datos sobre las lesmas do mar (Mollusca: Gastropoda) de las islas de Cabo Verde (II). Avicennia. 22: 49–58.
    Ozturk, B., A. Dogan, B. Bitlis-Bakir, and A. Salman. 2014. Marine Molluscs of the Turkish Coasts: An Updated Checklist. Tübitak, Turkish Journal of Zoology 38.
    Parera, A., M. Pontes, X. Salvador, and M. Ballesteros. 2020. Sea slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Heterobranchia): the other inhabitants of the city of Barcelona (Spain). Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural, 84: 75-100.
    Perrone, A. S. 1988. Primo rinvenimento di Elysia flava Verrill per la coste italiane (Opisthobranchia: Sacoglossa). First Report Of Elysia flava New-Record Verrill From Italian Coasts Opisthobranchia Sacoglossa. Atti Soc. Ital. Sci. Nat. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Milano 129(4):483-488.
    Prkić, J., A. Petani, Ð. Iglić, and L. Lanča. 2018. Stražnjoškržnjaci Jadranskoga Mora: Slikovni Atlas i Popis Hrvatskih Vrsta / Opisthobranchs of the Adriatic Sea: Photographic Atlas and List of Croatian Species. Ronilaćki Klub Sveti Roko, Bibinje.
    Rolán, E. 2005. Malacological Fauna From The Cape Verde Archipelago. Part 1, Polyplacophora and Gastropoda. ConchBooks, Frankfurt, Germany.
    Rudman W.B. et al. 1998. Elysia flava accessed through: Sea Slug Forum on 2014-12-14. (http://seaslugforum.net/showall/elysflav).
    Templado, J., and R. Villanueva. 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., and M. Doneddu. 2014. Nudibranchi del Mediterraneo, 2a. ed. Il Castello.
    Trainito, E., and S. Trainito. 2003. Mediterranean harlequins : a field guide to Mediterranean sea slugs. Taphros, Olbia (SS), Italia.
    Verrill, A. E. 1901. Additions to the fauna of the Bermudas from the Yale expedition of 1901, with notes on other species. Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 11: 15-62.
    WoRMS Editorial Board. 2021. World Register of Marine Species. WoRMS. (http://www.marinespecies.org).

    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) "Elysia flava" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 14/05/2012. Accessed: 23/01/2021. Available at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/AnLgr)

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