Clione limacina antarctica

Clione limacina (Phipps, 1774) subsp. antarctica Smith, 1902


This is a naked pelagic snail, up to 4 cm long, with a mainly transparent body that only shows orange to red in the tail, tentacles and mouth organs. The reddish-brown visceral mass is seen through the body wall. It is a rather quick swimmer that hunts shelled pteropods as food. It lives in the Antarctic and Subantarctic in the upper water layers where it can occur in mass blooms.

Taxonomic Description

Body robust, large, with a more glandular skin than in the subsp. limacina. Though the buccal cones do not differ from those in the subsp. limacina their arrangement is different; the dorsal pair is placed with the bases free from the bases of the central pair of cones. Other structures in the animals do not differ from those in the nominal subspecies, except for the radula. The median plate is only found in the very first rows (Clione l. antarctica radula). The lateral teeth are simple shaped (Clione l. antarctica laterals). Eliot (1907) gives the following formulas for the radula:
row 1-2 formula 8-1-8
row 3-9 formula 8-0-8
row 10 formula 7-0-7 with two rudimentary laterals
row 11-19 formula 7-0-7
row 20 formula 6-0-6 with two rudimentary laterals
row 21-26 formula 6-0-6
row 27-30 formula 5-0-5
row 31 formula 4-0-4
row 32 formula 3-0-3
Body length up to 40 mm.


A special description of veligers is not available. Only the specimen illustrated (Clione l. antarctica) is available, they have the three transverse bands of cilia common in young Gymnosomata.


It is a protandric hermaphrodite.


It is a carnivorous species.


It occurs only in the Antarctic Ocean. See the Clione l. antarctica map.


Clione antarctica Smith, 1902: 210.
Types could not be found.