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Species Guide » 14. Molluscs - Heterobranchs » Aglaja tricolorata ca / es

Scientific name: Aglaja tricolorata

Renier, 1807

Common Name:

Group: 14. Molluscs - Heterobranchs

Area type: Sand dive

Depth: Between 20 and 45 m

Measures: Up to 7 cm

How does it look like?

Individuals of this species can reach up to 7 centimeters. They are dark brown animals, often with white, rounded spots distributed along the body and larger in the posterior area. Sometimes there can be found also homogeneous black individuals. The anterior region of the body, formed by the cephalic shield that occupies half of the animal's body, is characterized by the presence of two lateral lobes, whose edge is white. The parapodia are of a large size and cover almost the entire cephalic shield. In the caudal or posterior area, the mantle has two lobes, and the left one projects through a thin extensible filament of a few centimeters. The edge of these two lobes and the margin of the filament are white. The color of the foot is very dark brown, almost black, with soft blue iridescence and two palps in the anterior area slightly curved backwards, with a white border.

 

Where does it live?

Most representatives of the Aglajidae family live in soft substrates where they bury themselves into sand, mud or calcareous concentrations, between 10 and 45 meters deep. It is an eminently Mediterranean species. It has been found in the Adriatic, in the French Mediterranean and in Malta. In the Iberian Peninsula it is found from Huelva to Catalonia.

 

How does it feed?

They feed on polychaetes, nemerteans and mollusks. This species has the particularity of not having a radula and is able to completely engulf its prey with the help of a mouth bulb that it can project outwards.

 

How does it reproduce?

It is common to find two or more individuals moving in a row united by the cephalic regions. It is believed that it may be a reproductive behavior in the copulation phase but due to its burying habits, it is a species of which many details and behaviors are unknown. The white egg-shaped clutch is formed by a gelatinous and elongated mass, 8 or 10cm long, which is fixed to the substrate by a narrow cord.

 

Is a confusion possible?

It can be confused with Philinopsis depicta, also a Mediterranean species and with variable coloration, with individuals of brown shades and white spots.

 

Curiosities

· It is a species without radula

· It is a species difficult to find.

 

Taxonomy

Phylum: Mollusca, Class: Gastropoda, Subclass: Heterobranchia, Infraclass: Opisthobranchia, Order: Cephalaspidea, Superfamily: Philinoidea, Family: Aglajidae, Genus: Aglaja

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