White Spotted Warty Slug – Phyllidia flava
The White Spotted Warty Slug is a species in the family of the Phyllidiidae and thus belongs to the class of Gastropoda.
Phyllidia flava has an oval body. Its colour is yellow with white warts spread over the whole body. They seem to be bigger in the centre and smaller towards the edge. Their gills are not visible since they are placed underneath the mantle.
It reaches a maximum size of 5cm in length.
Habitat and Distribution
The White Spotted Warty Slug lives on rocky ground, down to a depth of 20m. When diving in the Canaries you can only observe them very rarely. In addition, its distribution area extends across the Mediterranean Sea and the European coasts of the eastern Atlantic.
Phyllidia flava feeds on sponges, e.g. Axinella cannabina and Acanthella acuta.
Much more is not known about their biology. Species in the family of the Phyllidiidae are, however, always hermaphroditic and have three sex openings. They fertilize each other with their penises and lay their eggs in strings. Numerous larvae emerge, which feed on plankton. After a long pelagic period, they are metamorphosed into small slugs.