Orange-clubbed sea slug (Limacia clavigera)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Limacia clavigera is white in colour with yellow-orange tipped processes (outgrowths) and can grow up to 2 cm in length. The front processes have a rough texture with feathery ends and are held horizontally, whereas the processes at the sides of the body are smooth and normally curved over its back. Slightly raised orange spots can be found on the slugs back. Two sensory tentacles (rhizophores) can be found on the back of the slugs head, that are tipped with yellow. Three feather-like gills are situated towards the rear of the slug on its back, which also have yellow-orange tips.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Distributed all around the British Isles except the extreme south east.

Global distribution

Norway to the Mediterranean and along the north coast of Africa.


Limacia clavigera can be found on encrusting bryozoans in the shallow sublittoral down to depths of 80 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Long, yellow or orange tipped outgrowths all around the edge of the mantle.
  • Three small feather-like gills.

Additional information

Can be found feeding on sea mats (Bryozoa), preferentially on Electra pilosa.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.), 1995. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Volume 2. Molluscs to Chordates. Oxford Science Publications. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line]

  4. Picton, B. E. & Morrow, C.C., 1994. A Field Guide to the Nudibranchs of the British Isles. London: Immel Publishing Ltd.


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  2. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) data for Great Britain and Ireland - restricted access. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  3. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) records for Great Britain and Ireland. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  4. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset Accessed via on 2018-10-01

  5. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  6. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  7. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  8. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  9. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-24

  10. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Molluscs (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Edwards, R.V. 2008. Limacia clavigera Orange-clubbed sea slug. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 24-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 08/05/2008