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

Orange-clubbed sea slug (Limacia clavigera)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.
Only coastal and marine records shown



Limacia clavigera is white in colour with yellow-orange tipped processes (outgrowths) and can grow up to 2 cm in length. The front processes have a rough texture with feathery ends and are held horizontally, whereas the processes at the sides of the body are smooth and normally curved over its back. Slightly raised orange spots can be found on the slugs back. Two sensory tentacles (rhizophores) can be found on the back of the slugs head, that are tipped with yellow. Three feather-like gills are situated towards the rear of the slug on its back, which also have yellow-orange tips.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Distributed all around the British Isles except the extreme south east.

Global distribution

Norway to the Mediterranean and along the north coast of Africa.


Limacia clavigera can be found on encrusting bryozoans in the shallow sublittoral down to depths of 80 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Long, yellow or orange tipped outgrowths all around the edge of the mantle.
  • Three small feather-like gills.

Additional information

Can be found feeding on sea mats (Bryozoa), preferentially on Electra pilosa.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

Search on:


  1. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995a. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Volume 2. Molluscs to Chordates. Oxford Science Publications. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  2. 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.]

  3. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line]

  4. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from:  Accessed 01 April 2017

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


This review can be cited as:

Edwards, R.V. 2008. Limacia clavigera Orange-clubbed 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. [cited 17-08-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 08/05/2008