Polycera faeroensis

Lemche, 1929

This is a sublittoral species which reaches 45 mm in length, white with pigment blotches of yellow. The body has a soft appearance, and often seems to be loosely swollen. The yellow pigment covers the frontal tubercles and most of the papillae close to the gills. It can also form a narrow line on the lateral crest from the hindmost frontal papilla. The same colour covers the median keel of the metapodium and occasionally tinges the margins of the foot. Finally, it is found on the outermost half of each rhinophore and the tips of the gills. Occasionally, areas of black pigment may be present. The head is semicircular in front, extending to form numerous (normally eight) finger-like, tapering frontal papillae. Closely surrounding the anal papilla are the gills, 5-8 in number (P. faeroensis-lateral view).

This species may have been confused in the past with Polycera quadrilineata , but the two are only superficially similar. P. quadrilineata has only four anterior processes, and numerous yellow blotches in the mid-dorsum, whereas P. faeroensis has six or more anterior processes and sparser body blotches.

The preferred prey includes the bryozoans Crisia denticulata , Cellepora pumicosa and Bugula plumosa . Records of feeding upon Membranipora membranacea may mistakenly relate to P. quadrilineata .

P. faeroensis occurs commonly in shallow sublittoral situations, down to 35 m in the British Isles, on the north and west coasts (Distr. P. faeroensis). Further distribution from Sweden and the Faeroes.