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 (Pleurobranchus membranaceus)

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

Summary

Description

Pleurobranchus membranaceus is a large, round sea slug up to 12 cm in length. The body consists of the brown mantle, which is covered in short fleshy projections known as tubercles, and a white foot, which forms a 'skirt' around the mantle. The front end bears obvious tentacles the outer oral tentacles and the rhinophores between them. The rhinophores consist of rolled extensions of tissue.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from various locations around Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Found on the rocky intertidal and sublittoral in association with its prey, the sea squirts Ascidia mentula, Ascidiella aspersa and Botryllus schlosseri.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Brown body, up to 12 cm in length.
  • Dorsal surface bears tubercles.
  • Posterior edge of mantle lobed to form an exhalant siphon.
  • Two pairs of tentacles; oral tentacles, and the dorsal rhinophores that are longitudinally rolled.

Additional information

Pleurobranchus membranaceus may be seen swimming by turning onto its back and flapping the foot like wings.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

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

  2. Crothers, J.H. (ed.), 1966. Dale Fort Marine Fauna. London: Field Studies Council.

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

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1990. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

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

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

  8. 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:

Neal, K.J. 2005. Pleurobranchus membranaceus 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/2048

Last Updated: 02/11/2005