Felimare villafranca is a medium sized chromodorid
nudibranch present in the Mediterranean and Eastern
Atlantic ocean. It is usually found roaming on the grey
sponge Dysidea fragilis. This species is uncommon and
can also be found roaming on Posidonia oceanica. It is
sufficiently distinct to be identified in the field.
Oral tentacles: 2 in number, very short. Rhinophores: Deep blue in colour with a yellow line along
the midrib, finely lamellate and retractable. Cerata: Absent. Gills: Retractable, unipinnate, blue in colour with an
external central white to yellow line in the middle. Body: Blue to dark blue; a yellow changing to white
(anteriorly) submarginal edge is present. Yellow line often
forming a network are present on the notum. A similar
network is visible laterally. A specific character is the
broken azure lines between the submarginal bands and
the yellow central lines. Foot: Blue with a lateral white to yellow network of lines.
The white lines extend to the posterior part of the foot.
Size range: 15-20mm. Uncommon.
Specific characteristics: This species is easy to
distinguish from related species by azure broken lines on
the notum. See also Felimare fontandraui.
14mm Dahlet ix-Xmajjar 16m depth 3/03/94 Leg. J. Borg