Mediterranean Violet Aeolid – Flabellina affinis


The Mediterranean Violet Aeolid is a species in the family of the Flabellinidae and thus belongs to the class of the Gastropoda.

Mediterranean Violet Aeolid - Flabellina affinis Gastropoda diving canary islands atlantic ocean canaries species
Mediterranean Violet Aeolid – Flabellina affinis

Description

Flabellina affinis has a long-stretched body. Its colour is violet with violet threads whose tips are white. They reach a maximum size of 5cm in length.

Habitat and Distribution

The Mediterranean Violet Aeolid lives on rocky, sometimes sandy grounds, down to a depth of 70m. When diving in the Canaries you can observe it quiet often in certain locations. In addition, its distribution area extends across the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean from  the coasts of Spain and Portugal all the way to Ghana.

Biology

Flabellina affinis feeds on polyp heads of hydrozoas.
It is hermaphroditic and can reproduce throughout the year. Its clutches are wrapped around hydrozoa colonies of the genus Eudendrium. The clutches are also violet and can be observed in most cases as well. The size of the eggs is between 0.08 mm and 0.09 mm.