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Species Guide » 14. Molluscs - Heterobranchs » Cratena peregrina ca / es

Scientific name: Cratena peregrina

(Gmelin, 1791)

Common Name:

Group: 14. Molluscs - Heterobranchs

Area type: Shallow dive

Depth: Down to 30 m

Measures: Up to 5 cm

How does it look like?

Their body is white coloured and presents 8 to 10 pairs of large purple dorsal papillae (cerata). The cerata's colour can vary between purple, brown and orange and they simply are a prolongation of the animal's digestive system. That's the reason for it's different colours, depending on the food's colour. The olfactory and orientation organs (rinophores) are orange coloured. They present a kind of tail.


Where does it live?

They live at the Mediterranean and atlantic coast of Spain, Portugal, Senegal and the Canary Islands.

 

How does it feed?

They feed mainly on hydroids of the genus Eudendrium.

 

How do they reproduce?

All animals have both sexes (hermaphrodites). Usually they reproduce with another individual capsizing their position to connect their seminal conducts, which are placed on the right side of the animal. Their whitish eggs are placed in a spiral formed ribbon.

 

Is a confusion possible?

A confusion is hardly possible, but in some cases their can be a misidentification with Fjordia lineata, which has a very caracteristic white and fine line behind it's rinophores. Cratena peregrina can be distinguished thanks to two orange spots which are placed between the oral tentacles and the rinophores. The tips of the rinophores themselves are also orange coloured.

 

Curiosities

· The toxins from their food are stored in bags (cnidosacs) at the tip of their cerata which protects them from many predators.
· It's probably one of the most common nudibranchs at the catalan coast.
· Synonyms: Hervia costai (Haefelfinger).

 

Taxonomy

Phylum: Mollusca, Class: Gastropoda, Order: Nudibranchia, Suborder: Aeolidina, Family: Facelinidae, Genus: Cratena

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