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Pleurobranchaeidae Family

Pleurobranchaeidae Family

The molecular sequencing of Moles et al, 2023 has shown that Pleurobranchaeidae and Pleurobranchidae are two good and distinct families, recovering them to be monophyletic, after a long and tortured history of combinations and separations.
There is no external shell and the internal shell is lost in adults.
Rhinophores are enrolled with a longitudinal slit and are widely separated on the head.
The anterior of the mantle is fused to the oral veil leading to enlargement of the oral veil and some reduction in the mantle such that the foot is exposed in many. This enlargement of the oral veil, with the oral tentacles located laterally at each side has enabled an increase in the sensory papillae located there around the anterior edge. The oral veil is capable of almost engulfing and holding prey.
The mantle is not smooth, being wrinkled and puckered by folds and ridges, the exception being Euselenops. Dermal glands secrete acidic fluid for defensive purposes.
The plume-like gill is located on the right side between the mantle and the foot. Locomotion is by cilia on the foot assisted by mucus from an anterior pedal groove.
Most are known to be opportunistic carnivores and aggressive in nature even during the mating process.
Euselenops luniceps is the type species.
In general, to separate from species of the Pleurobranchidae family, look for:
– Widely separated rhinophores
– Smaller mantle not covering foot
– Large oral veil fused to anterior of mantle
– Notum with a wrinkled texture

Species in this Family (sighted)