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 (Armina loveni)

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

Summary

Description

This is an uncommon nudibranch up to 4 cm long. It has a flattened leaf-like appearance with short stubby rhinophores at the front of the mantle. The ample mantle is brick-red with a white foot, and up to 50 distinctive white longitudinal ridges, which can be irregular and wavy especially towards the pale edges. The mantles frontal margin is indented to protect the rhinophores, which are united at the base and have a swollen sensory outgrowth at the front. Numerous large defensive glands are contained within the mantle rim, and underneath the rim is a symmetrical series of projections, the gills (up to 20 longitudinal folds) and the lateral lamellae (numbering up to 30 on each side). The head is large and flattened, with the foot forming a shield across the front.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Scattered records from the Shetland Isles, the east coast of Scotland, south west of England, the Celtic Sea, Ireland, the Isle of Man and western Scotland.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Armina loveni crawls along the surface or burrows in muddy sand. Usually found with sea-pens Virgularia mirabilis in sheltered localities at 10-75 m deep.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Up to 4 cm in length.
  • Brick-red mantle with white foot and up to 50 white longitudinal ridges.
  • Flattened leaf-like appearance.
  • Short stubby rhinophores.

Additional information

Presumed to feed on Cnidaria but this not certain. Closely resembles Armina neapolitana, which can be distinguished by the arrangement of the teeth on the radula (Thompson & Brown, 1984). However, this requires dissection. The spawn resembles a tightly coiled pale pink thread.

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

  3. 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.]

  4. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  5. Picton, B. E. & Morrow, C.C., 1994. A Field Guide to the Nudibranchs of the British Isles. London: Immel Publishing Ltd.

  6. 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/

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

  8. Thompson, T.E. & Brown, G.H., 1984. Biology of Opisthobranch Molluscs, vol. II. London: Ray Society.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Rowley, S.J. 2007. Armina loveni 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/2085

Last Updated: 04/06/2007