Hairy spiny doris (Acanthodoris pilosa)
|Researched by||Rose Edwards||Refereed by||This information is not refereed|
|Authority||(Abildgaard in Müller, 1789)|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Acanthodoris pilosa is easy to distinguish from other nudibranchs by its rounded, fluffy, soft-textured appearance. It has long, soft, pointed processes (papillae) all over its back, which are usually of a uniform length and colour. Colour is uniformly distributed and varies from white to brown and purplish-brown to charcoal grey. This sea slug usually grows up to 3 cm in length but may exceptionally reach 7 cm. Juveniles may have a speckled appearance. Two horn-like processes (rhinophores) at the front of the animal characteristically bend towards the rear and are much larger than the other processes (papillae). Up to nine large gills form a circle at the rear of the animal.
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandCommon all around the British Isles.
Global distributionRecorded from the north-west coast of America, the British Isles. Scattered records along the coast of France up to Norway.
HabitatAcanthodoris pilosa is often found on the shore but has also been recorded to depths of 80 m.
Depth range0-80 m
- Round body with a 'fluffy' appearance.
- The body has long, soft, pointed, almost uniform processes all over.
- Variable uniform colour from white to brown and purplish-brown to charcoal grey.
- Up to nine large gills at the rear forming a circle.
- Rhinophores bend towards the rear.
Feeds on encrusting bryozoans such as Alcyonidium hirsutum and Flustrellidra hispida.
- none -
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Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.
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NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.
OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System), 2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2023-09-27
South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Molluscs (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jos5ga accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.
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Last Updated: 17/04/2008