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Tritonia plebeia
Image courtesy of Bernard Picton, Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland through the Encyclopedia of Life creative commons CC BY-NC-SA license.
Tritonia plebeia
Taxonomic Group: Mollusks-Gastropods


Tritonia plebeia is a predatory nudibranch which feeds on soft corals. It is native to Europe from Norway to Spain, Portugal, and the Western Mediterranean, where it inhabits rocky coastal environments. In the early 1980s, it was discovered on subtidal rock walls in Massachusetts. The population grew in abundance, reaching a peak in 1985 and then quickly declined. Its current distribution and abundance in the Gulf of Maine are unknown. During its brief peak in abundance, it eliminated soft corals (Alcyonium siderium) from rock walls at several locations. These changes in community composition persisted for at least two years after its decline.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
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