MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A sea slug (Acteon tornatilis)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Acteon tornatilis is a primitive sea slug within a thick, opaque, pink, external shell of up to 2-3 cm that is marked by 1-3 white bands on the body whorl and one white band on the remainder. Either side of each band is a narrow margin of dark pink. It is able to withdraw the whole of its body into its shell which is then sealed by an amber-coloured operculum. The shell aperture accounts for two-thirds of the shell length. Inside the lip of the shell is a distinctive tooth. The head of Acteon tornatilis has four large lobes and a cephalic disc that is used in burrowing through clean, fine sand together with a small foot that has blunt, propodial tentacles. Inside of the shell are folded mantle flaps.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

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Global distribution

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Habitat

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Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Thick, opaque, shell coloured pink.
  • Body whorl is marked with 1-3 white bands.
  • Remaining whorls marked with 1 white band.
  • Each side of the white bands has a narrow margin of dark pink.
  • Distinctive tooth on inside of lip.
  • Head has four large, flattened lobes.

Additional information

Acteon tornatilis is a carnivore, feeding on tubiculous, infaunal polychaetes, including Owenia fusiformis and Lanice conchilega. Acteon tornatilis was previously been known as Tornatella fasciata (pre-1950). Four species of the Acteon genus are found in Europe.

Listed by

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Allen, J.A. 1962. The fauna of the Clyde Sea area. Mollusca. Millport: Scottish Marine Biological Association.

  2. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  3. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  4. Foster-Smith, J. (ed.), 2000. The marine fauna and flora of the Cullercoats District. Marine species records for the North East Coast of England. Sunderland: Penshaw Press, for the Dove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

  5. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  6. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  7. Laverack, M.S. & Blackler, D.M., 1974. Fauna & Flora of St. Andrews Bay. Scottish Academic Press (Edinburgh & London).

  8. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  9. Thompson, T. E. & Brown, G. H., 1976. British Opisthobranch Molluscs. London: Academic Press. [Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 8.]

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Richards, S. 2008. Acteon tornatilis A sea slug. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/13

Last Updated: 08/05/2008