Definition of Opisthobranchia in English:


plural noun

  • A group of molluscs which includes the sea slugs and sea hares. They have a small or absent shell and are typically brightly coloured with conspicuous external gills.

    Subclass Opisthobranchia, class Gastropoda

    • ‘However, as with Tritonia, many other members of the subclass Opisthobranchia also exhibit swimming behavior.’
    • ‘The latter group includes radically modified animals, the Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata, which undergo detorsion and essentially re-evolve bilateral symmetry.’
    • ‘In fact, as with the Opisthobranchia, shell reduction has occurred independently a number of times in different lineages.’
    • ‘In the traditional classification system, the class Gastropoda has been divided into three subclasses, Prosobranchia, Pulmonata, and Opisthobranchia.’
    • ‘The differences in protoconch shape may prove insufficient to differentiate Allogastropoda and shell-bearing Opisthobranchia.’


Modern Latin (plural), from opistho- ‘to the rear’ + brankhia ‘gills’.