Philine aperta
(Linnaeus, 1767)

Family: Philinidae


Atlantic coast of Europe and Africa, (including Mediterranean). Records from outside this area probably incorrectly identified.


Photos from Bernard Picton. Note egg mass in middle picture.

Species of Philine feed on bivalves which they crush with three calcareous gizzard plates. P. aperta can grow to over 70mm in length, and like the even larger Philine angasi, from New Zealand and southern Australia, has a broad muscular, wedge-shaped body which is well-designed for burrowing.

See Bernard Picton's observations on its biology below.

• Hansen, B. (1991) Feeding Behaviour in Larvae of the Opisthobranch Philine aperta. 2. Food Size Spectra and Particle Selectivity in Relation to Larval Behaviour and Morphology of the Velar Structures. Marine Biology, 111(2): 263-270.
• Lancaster, S.M. (1983) The biology and reproductive ecology of Philine aperta (Opisthobranchia: Bullomorpha) in Oxwich Bay. J Moll Stud, Suppl 12A: 82-88.
• Thompson, T.E. (1976) Biology of Opisthobranch Molluscs, Volume I. The Ray Society: London. 207 pages

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (October 9) Philine aperta (Linnaeus, 1767). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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