Aegires punctilucens
(d'Orbigny, 1837)

Suborder: DORIDINA
Family: Aegiretidae


Mediterranean & coast of western Europe to western Norway. Also found in Japan, Australia.


Echizen-coast, Wakasa Bay, Japan, depth: 4m, 10 July 2002. Size approx: 7mm. Photo: Jun Imamoto

Body is typical in shape for the genus. It is spiculate and rigid with numerous spiculate tubercles, each with a large flattened tip. The rhinophores are smooth and rod-like and emerge from a prominent raised sheath with 3 -5 large tubercles around the opening. The gills also are protected by a raised gill sheath which is divided into three multituberculate branches. The animal is translucent brown in colour with scattered spots and patches of white. There are also bright blue spots arranged in a symmetrical pattern over the body. Most of the spots are surrounded by a broad orange-brown ring. It grows to approx 20mm in length. On its food sponge it is very well camouflaged. In Europe it feeds on the calcareous Leucosolenia botryoides.

An animal extremely similar in colour and appearance to this European species is apparently not uncommon in Japan, and I have some records of it from eastern Australia. Presumably this disjunct distribution is the result of human activity, but as with many of these occurrences, the original home of the species is unclear. [See radula of eastern Australian animal.]

• Baba, K. (1974) New distributional record of Aegires punctilucens (d'Orbigny, 1837) from Sado Island, Japan (Nudibranchia: Doridoidea: Aegiretidae). The Veliger, 17(1):11-12.
• D'Orbigny, A. 1837. Memoire sur des especes et sur des genres nouveaux de l'ordre des nudibranches, observes sur les cotes de France. [Guerin's] Magasin de Zoologie, (7. Class 5): pp. 1-16, pls. 102- 109.
• Schmekel, R. L., & Adolf Portmann. (1982) Opisthobranchia des Mittelmeeres, Nudibranchia und Saccoglossa. Fauna e flora del Golfo di Napoli 40, Monografia della Stazione Zoologica di Napoli. pp. i-viii, 1-410, pls. 1-36. Springer-Verlag
• Templado, J., A. A. Luque, & Jesus A. Ortea. (1987) A new species of Aegires Loven, 1844 (Opisthobranchia: Doridacea, Aegiretidae) from the Caribbean Sea: Aegires ortizi spec. nov., with comparative descriptions of the North Atlantic species of this genus. The Veliger, 29(3): 303-307.
• Thompson, T.E. & Brown, G.H. (1976) British opisthobranch molluscs. Mollusca: Gastropoda Synopses of the British fauna (new series), no 8. Linnean Society, London.
• Thompson, T.E. & Brown, G.H. (1984) Biology of Opisthobranch Molluscs, Vol 2. 1-229 Ray Society: London. 156pp.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2003 (January 22) Aegires punctilucens (d'Orbigny, 1837). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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