Cuthona foliata

(Forbes & Goodsir, 1839)

This distinctive but rare species reaches a maximal length of only 11 mm, The body is stout, pale yellowish white in colour with small white glistening dots scattered liberally over the body and cerata. A pale orange band may encircle each oral tentacle, and similar bands are nearly always conspicuous on the rhinophores. A characteristic crescent-shaped orange, red or brown patch is situated behind each rhinophore, curving outwards to the bases of the most anterior cerata. Another such patch of pigment usually colours the dorsum behind the pericardial swelling. There are 7-8 rows of cerata on each side of the dorsum, each containing up to five cerata on either side. The hepatic lobe within each ceras may be olive green, dark brown, or yellowish brown.

The diet consists of the hydroids Abietinaria abietina , Sertularella polyzonias , S. gayi and probably others, in shallow sublittoral localities all around the British Isles.

C. foliata certainly occurs on the French Atlantic coast and extends to a northern limit at the Faeroes and southern Norway (Distr. C. foliata).