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Species Guide » 14. Molluscs - Heterobranchs » Limacia inesae ca / es

Scientific name: Limacia inesae

Toms, Pola, von der Hayden & Gosliner, 2021

Common Name:

Group: 14. Molluscs - Heterobranchs

Area type: Meadow dive, Diving and watching under the stones

Depth: Until 35 m

Measures: Up to 20 mm

How does it look like?

?It’s a nudibranch with a long shaped body. Around the mantle there are several papillas which look like little fingers, curved towards the body center. There’s also a row of them on the center of the body and around the head, always a bit litteler. At the head zone they vary in number between 6 and 8. The nudibranch’s colour is white translucent, with yellow-orange coloured round spots at the end of each papilla. The animal’s tail shows a longitudinal line with the same yellow/orange colour. It achives a maximal size of 2cm.


?Where does it live?

?Normally they can be found on seaweeds, hydroids and on rocks, down to 35 meters deep. This species has been found at the Mediterranean in Spain, France, Italy and Croatia. At the Atlantic it has been described at the Azores Islands, Madeira and the Canary Islands.??

 

How do they feed?

?The concrete feeding habits of this nudibranch are not known. They are, but, usually linked to bryozoans of species like Electra pilosa or Membranipora membranacea. This leads to the supposition that they are eaten by them. Other authors link this nudibranch to other genus of bryozoans like Callopora, Cryptosula, Porella or Schizoporella.??

 

How do they reproduce?

?Reproduction is supposed to take place in winter, around january, when the biggest specimens are found.??

 

Is a confusion possible?

Confusion is easy with Limacia clavigera (Müller, 1776). With a closer look on the animals back, it will be possible to see that Limacia clavigera has lots of papillas distributed irregularly around its back, whereas Limacia inesae has a clear line of orange papillas only on its back center. Little specimens can also be missidentified with Polycera quadrilineata. The caracteristic papillas help to recognize them easily.

 

??Curiosities

· Until 2021 this species was known as Limacia clavigera. The studies of ?Jessica Toms, Marta Pola, Sophie von der Hayden and Terrence Gosliner have demonstrated that two very similar species have been confused until now. The first one, Limacia clavigera, distributed along the British Islands, the Atlantic and southern Andalusia, and the second one, Limacia inesae, present at slightly warmer waters.

?· Specimens have only been found at the western Mediterranean between november and may. That leads to think that they live, as many other nudibranchs, only one season or year.

· The name comes from latin: "Limax" which means slug. "Inesae" is a homage to the daughter Inés of Marta Pola, one of the authors who have identified this new species.

 

Taxonomy?

Phyllum: Mollusca, Class: Gastropoda, Subclass: Opisthobranchia, Superorder: Heterobranchia, Order: Nudibranchia, Suborder: Doridina, Family: Polyceridae

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