Lobe shell (Philine quadripartita)

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

Summary

Description

Philine quadripartita is 1 to 3 cm in length and white in colour. The soft body is divided into four lobes: a frontal 'cephalic' shield, a posterior shield, and two parapodial lobes either side of the body. The body is white. The cephalic shield is longer than the posterior shield. The posterior sheild has a small internal shell that can be felt at the hind end of the animal. This species characteristically secretes sulphuric acid as a defence against predators.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded all around the British Isles.

Global distribution

Recorded from the North East Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Habitat

A sublittoral sea slug spending most of its life beneath the surface of the sand/muddy sand in which it seeks its prey.

Depth range

0-500m

Identifying features

  • Quadripartite; right and left parapodial lobes, cephalic shield (head), and posterior mantle lobe over the visceral mass.
  • White in colour with white dots; up to 3 cm in length.

Additional information

Records of Philine quadripartita in the British Isles were misidentified as Philine aperta (Price et al., 2011). Outwardly, most species of Philine are very similar in morphology and a detailed examination of their internal anatomy, especially the shape of the internal shell, gizzard and penial papilla, is required to differentiate the species (Price et al., 2011). Philine aperta is recorded from South Africa and Mozambique.

Listed by

- none -

Biology review

Taxonomy

LevelScientific nameCommon name
PhylumMollusca
ClassGastropoda
OrderCephalaspidea
FamilyPhilinidae
GenusPhiline
AuthorityAscanius, 1772
Recent Synonyms

Biology

ParameterData
Typical abundanceModerate density
Male size range3 cm
Male size at maturity
Female size rangeSmall (1-2 cm)
Female size at maturity
Growth formGlobose
Growth rateData deficient
Body flexibilityLow (10-45 degrees)
MobilityBurrower
Characteristic feeding methodPredator
Diet/food sourceCarnivore
Typically feeds onPectinaria koreni, Echinocyamus pusillus, foraminiferans, and small infaunal lamellibranchs and gastropods.
SociabilitySolitary
Environmental positionInfaunal
DependencyIndependent.
SupportsNo information
Is the species harmful?Yes

Sulphuric acid secretion from the skin give it some protection from predators, which include fish.

Biology information

  • Philine quadripartita lives just beneath the surface of fine sediment. The species 'ploughs' through the sediment as it moves and should not really be considered as burrowing species.
  • Although the species has an internal shell, this is small relative to the total body size and there is therefore, some flexibility.
  • A scavenging habit was observed under laboratory conditions on freshly killed bivalves.

Habitat preferences

ParameterData
Physiographic preferencesData deficient
Biological zone preferencesLower eulittoral, Sublittoral fringe, Upper infralittoral
Substratum / habitat preferencesFine clean sand, Muddy sand, Sandy mud
Tidal strength preferences
Wave exposure preferences
Salinity preferencesData deficient
Depth range0-500m
Other preferencesNo text entered
Migration PatternNo information found

Habitat Information

No text entered

Life history

Adult characteristics

ParameterData
Reproductive typePermanent (synchronous) hermaphrodite
Reproductive frequency Annual episodic
Fecundity (number of eggs)10,000-100,000
Generation timeInsufficient information
Age at maturityInsufficient information
SeasonApril - August
Life span2-5 years

Larval characteristics

ParameterData
Larval/propagule type-
Larval/juvenile development Planktotrophic
Duration of larval stage1-6 months
Larval dispersal potential Greater than 10 km
Larval settlement periodInsufficient information

Life history information

Longevity is believed to be 3-4 years. In Britain spawning has been recorded from spring to summer when flask-shaped egg masses are laid. Egg masses may each contain up to 50,000 white ova. Veliger larvae hatch after a few days.

Sensitivity reviewHow is sensitivity assessed?

Physical pressures

Use / to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Substratum loss [Show more]

Substratum loss

Benchmark. All of the substratum occupied by the species or biotope under consideration is removed. A single event is assumed for sensitivity assessment. Once the activity or event has stopped (or between regular events) suitable substratum remains or is deposited. Species or community recovery assumes that the substratum within the habitat preferences of the original species or community is present. Further details

Evidence

Philine quadripartita is an infaunal species and so loss of substratum would result in loss of the population. Intolerance is therefore, assessed as High. Recovery would be high due to the fast growth, fast reproductive rates of the species and recolonization from other areas as the species is common where it occurs.
High High Moderate Moderate
Smothering [Show more]

Smothering

Benchmark. All of the population of a species or an area of a biotope is smothered by sediment to a depth of 5 cm above the substratum for one month. Impermeable materials, such as concrete, oil, or tar, are likely to have a greater effect. Further details.

Evidence

Philine quadripartita lives just beneath the surface of the sediment and is capable of moving through it. Therefore, smothering by a layer of 5 cm would have little or no effect on the species and a rank of not sensitive is recorded. Impermeable materials, such as concrete, oil or tar, are likely to have a greater effect.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Moderate
Increase in suspended sediment [Show more]

Increase in suspended sediment

Benchmark. An arbitrary short-term, acute change in background suspended sediment concentration e.g., a change of 100 mg/l for one month. The resultant light attenuation effects are addressed under turbidity, and the effects of rapid settling out of suspended sediment are addressed under smothering. Further details

Evidence

Philine quadripartita is a carnivore and lives buried under the sediment surface, therefore an increase in suspended sediments is unlikely to have an effect on the population or the burrowing organisms that they feed on.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Moderate
Decrease in suspended sediment [Show more]

Decrease in suspended sediment

Benchmark. An arbitrary short-term, acute change in background suspended sediment concentration e.g., a change of 100 mg/l for one month. The resultant light attenuation effects are addressed under turbidity, and the effects of rapid settling out of suspended sediment are addressed under smothering. Further details

Evidence

No information
Desiccation [Show more]

Desiccation

  1. A normally subtidal, demersal or pelagic species including intertidal migratory or under-boulder species is continuously exposed to air and sunshine for one hour.
  2. A normally intertidal species or community is exposed to a change in desiccation equivalent to a change in position of one vertical biological zone on the shore, e.g., from upper eulittoral to the mid eulittoral or from sublittoral fringe to lower eulittoral for a period of one year. Further details.

Evidence

The subtidal position and soft-bodied nature of this species suggests that it is unlikely to tolerate desiccation. However, the species is sufficiently mobile and capable of burrowing therefore, it is likely to be able to move to an area which is more favourable. Recovery would be high, provided conditions were suitable, due to the fast growth, fast reproductive rates of the species and recolonization from other areas as the species is common where it occurs.
Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Moderate
Increase in emergence regime [Show more]

Increase in emergence regime

Benchmark. A one hour change in the time covered or not covered by the sea for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

The subtidal position and soft-bodied nature of this species suggests that it is unlikely to tolerate emersion as it would suffer desiccation. However, the species is sufficiently mobile and capable of burrowing therefore, it is likely to be able to move to an area which is more favourable. Recovery would be high due, provided conditions were suitable, to the fast growth, fast reproductive rates of the species and recolonization from other areas as the species is common where it occurs.
Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Moderate
Decrease in emergence regime [Show more]

Decrease in emergence regime

Benchmark. A one hour change in the time covered or not covered by the sea for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in water flow rate [Show more]

Increase in water flow rate

A change of two categories in water flow rate (view glossary) for 1 year, for example, from moderately strong (1-3 knots) to very weak (negligible). Further details

Evidence

The species is found predominantly on finer sediments which are associated with sheltered locations. Increased water flow rate is likely to change the nature of sediment and hence the character of the habitat as fine particles are washed away. Increased water flow rate could also sweep adults away and so intolerance is recorded as high.
High High Moderate Moderate
Decrease in water flow rate [Show more]

Decrease in water flow rate

A change of two categories in water flow rate (view glossary) for 1 year, for example, from moderately strong (1-3 knots) to very weak (negligible). Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in temperature [Show more]

Increase in temperature

  1. A short-term, acute change in temperature; e.g., a 5°C change in the temperature range for three consecutive days. This definition includes ‘short-term’ thermal discharges.
  2. A long-term, chronic change in temperature; e.g. a 2°C change in the temperature range for a year. This definition includes ‘long term’ thermal discharges.

For intertidal species or communities, the range of temperatures includes the air temperature regime for that species or community. Further details

Evidence

Spawning, hatching and time to metamorphosis are all temperature dependent. Spawning occurs during the warmest months of the year (April to August) (Lancaster, 1983). Laboratory results showed hatching occurred after 3.5 days at 23°C and 8 days at 13°C (Thompson, 1976) and time to metamorphosis occurred after 35-40 days at 12-13°C and 30 days at 15°C (Hansen & Ockelmann, 1991). A change in temperature at the benchmark level would be unlikely to have lethal effects however, and an intolerance of low is recorded. Colder temperatures would delay development and recruitment to a population.
Low High Low Low
Decrease in temperature [Show more]

Decrease in temperature

  1. A short-term, acute change in temperature; e.g., a 5°C change in the temperature range for three consecutive days. This definition includes ‘short-term’ thermal discharges.
  2. A long-term, chronic change in temperature; e.g. a 2°C change in the temperature range for a year. This definition includes ‘long term’ thermal discharges.

For intertidal species or communities, the range of temperatures includes the air temperature regime for that species or community. Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in turbidity [Show more]

Increase in turbidity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., two categories of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one month, such as from medium to extreme turbidity.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., one category of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one year, such as from low to medium turbidity. Further details

Evidence

Neither the species or the burrowing organisms on which it lives are dependant on light availability, so it would not be affected by a change in turbidity.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Moderate
Decrease in turbidity [Show more]

Decrease in turbidity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., two categories of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one month, such as from medium to extreme turbidity.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., one category of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one year, such as from low to medium turbidity. Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in wave exposure [Show more]

Increase in wave exposure

A change of two ranks on the wave exposure scale (view glossary) e.g., from Exposed to Extremely exposed for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

The species is found predominantly on finer sediments which are associated with wave sheltered locations. Increased wave exposure is likely to erode fine sediments and displace adult Philine quadripartita. Intolerance to wave exposure is therefore assessed as High.
High High Moderate Moderate
Decrease in wave exposure [Show more]

Decrease in wave exposure

A change of two ranks on the wave exposure scale (view glossary) e.g., from Exposed to Extremely exposed for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

No information
Noise [Show more]

Noise

  1. Underwater noise levels e.g., the regular passing of a 30-metre trawler at 100 metres or a working cutter-suction transfer dredge at 100 metres for one month during important feeding or breeding periods.
  2. Atmospheric noise levels e.g., the regular passing of a Boeing 737 passenger jet 300 metres overhead for one month during important feeding or breeding periods. Further details

Evidence

The species probably has very limited capacity for noise perception.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low
Visual presence [Show more]

Visual presence

Benchmark. The continuous presence for one month of moving objects not naturally found in the marine environment (e.g., boats, machinery, and humans) within the visual envelope of the species or community under consideration. Further details

Evidence

The species probably has very limited capacity for visual perception.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low
Abrasion & physical disturbance [Show more]

Abrasion & physical disturbance

Benchmark. Force equivalent to a standard scallop dredge landing on or being dragged across the organism. A single event is assumed for assessment. This factor includes mechanical interference, crushing, physical blows against, or rubbing and erosion of the organism or habitat of interest. Where trampling is relevant, the evidence and trampling intensity will be reported in the rationale. Further details.

Evidence

The species is soft bodied and has a delicate internal shell and therefore likely to be damaged on impact by a passing scallop dredge. Therefore, a proportion of the population is likely to be lost and an intolerance of intermediate has been recorded. Recovery would be high due to the fast growth, fast reproductive rates of the species and recolonization from other areas, as the species is common.
Intermediate High Low Moderate
Displacement [Show more]

Displacement

Benchmark. Removal of the organism from the substratum and displacement from its original position onto a suitable substratum. A single event is assumed for assessment. Further details

Evidence

Philine quadripartita is sufficiently mobile to be able to deal with displacement provided a suitable substratum is found.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Moderate

Chemical pressures

Use [show more] / [show less] to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Synthetic compound contamination [Show more]

Synthetic compound contamination

Sensitivity is assessed against the available evidence for the effects of contaminants on the species (or closely related species at low confidence) or community of interest. For example:

  • evidence of mass mortality of a population of the species or community of interest (either short or long term) in response to a contaminant will be ranked as high sensitivity;
  • evidence of reduced abundance, or extent of a population of the species or community of interest (either short or long term) in response to a contaminant will be ranked as intermediate sensitivity;
  • evidence of sub-lethal effects or reduced reproductive potential of a population of the species or community of interest will be assessed as low sensitivity.

The evidence used is stated in the rationale. Where the assessment can be based on a known activity then this is stated. The tolerance to contaminants of species of interest will be included in the rationale when available; together with relevant supporting material. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Heavy metal contamination [Show more]

Heavy metal contamination

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Hydrocarbon contamination [Show more]

Hydrocarbon contamination

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Radionuclide contamination [Show more]

Radionuclide contamination

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Changes in nutrient levels [Show more]

Changes in nutrient levels

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Increase in salinity [Show more]

Increase in salinity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., a change of two categories from the MNCR salinity scale for one week (view glossary) such as from full to reduced.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., a change of one category from the MNCR salinity scale for one year (view glossary) such as from reduced to low. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Decrease in salinity [Show more]

Decrease in salinity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., a change of two categories from the MNCR salinity scale for one week (view glossary) such as from full to reduced.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., a change of one category from the MNCR salinity scale for one year (view glossary) such as from reduced to low. Further details.

Evidence

No information
Changes in oxygenation [Show more]

Changes in oxygenation

Benchmark.  Exposure to a dissolved oxygen concentration of 2 mg/l for one week. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant

Biological pressures

Use [show more] / [show less] to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites [Show more]

Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites

Benchmark. Sensitivity can only be assessed relative to a known, named disease, likely to cause partial loss of a species population or community. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Introduction of non-native species [Show more]

Introduction of non-native species

Sensitivity assessed against the likely effect of the introduction of alien or non-native species in Britain or Ireland. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Extraction of this species [Show more]

Extraction of this species

Benchmark. Extraction removes 50% of the species or community from the area under consideration. Sensitivity will be assessed as 'intermediate'. The habitat remains intact or recovers rapidly. Any effects of the extraction process on the habitat itself are addressed under other factors, e.g. displacement, abrasion and physical disturbance, and substratum loss. Further details.

Evidence

It is extremely unlikely that this species would be subject to extraction as it has no commercial and limited research value. A small number may removed or damaged by benthic trawls and dredges.
Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Low
Extraction of other species [Show more]

Extraction of other species

Benchmark. A species that is a required host or prey for the species under consideration (and assuming that no alternative host exists) or a keystone species in a biotope is removed. Any effects of the extraction process on the habitat itself are addressed under other factors, e.g. displacement, abrasion and physical disturbance, and substratum loss. Further details.

Evidence

Philine quadripartita has no known obligate relationships.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low

Additional information

Importance review

Policy/legislation

- no data -

Status

Non-native

ParameterData
Native-
Origin-
Date Arrived-

Importance information

-none-

Bibliography

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

  2. Hansen, B. & Ockelmann, K.W., 1991. Feeding behaviour in larvae of the opisthobranch Philine aperta. I. Growth and functional response at the different developmental stages. Marine Biology, 111, 255-261.

  3. Hansen, B., 1991. Feeding behaviour in larvae of the opisthobranch Philine aperta. II. Food size spectra and particle selectivity in relation to larval behaviour and morphology of the velar structures. Marine Biology, 111, 263-270.

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

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

  6. 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.]

  7. Lancaster, S.M., 1983. The biology and reproductive ecology of Philine aperta (Opisthobranchia: Bullomorpha) in Oxwich Bay. Journal of Molluscan Studies, Suppl. 12A, 82-88.

  8. Price, R.M., Gosliner, T.M. & Valdes, A., 2011. Systematics and phylogeny of Philine (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia), with emphasis on the Philine aperta species complex. Veliger, 51 (2), 1-58.

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

  10. Thompson, T.E., 1976. Biology of Opisthobranch Molluscs, vol. 1. London: The Ray Society.

Datasets

  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-05-21

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 2018. Philine quadripartita Lobe shell. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-05-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1412

 Download PDF version


Last Updated: 14/08/2018