Julia exquisita
(Gould, 1862)

Superfamily: OXYNOOIDEA
Family: Juliidae


This easily recognised bivalved sacoglossan is widespread throughout the Indo-West Pacific.


UPPER: Living animals showing typical sacoglossan head and tentacles. LOWER: Differently coloured shells of three animals. Animal approximately 5mm long alive. Koumac, New Caledonia, October 1993. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

Julia exquisita is one of a group of remarkable sacoglossan 'snails' which have a bivalve shell. Known only from their fossil shells until a few years ago, they were usually considered to be bivalves rather than gastropods. It is thought that the bivalved shell evolved from a lightly calcified shell like that of Oxynoe or Lobiger.

The shell is more heavily calcified than the species of the Berthellininae and varies in colour from bright green to reddish brown. A pattern of radiating spots can be present on the shell and can consist of white spots or darker shades of the background colour. There are a number of species of Julia with slight differences in the shape and colour of the shell.

See Cory Pittman's message below which discusses four species from Hawaii. See separate messages for details of Hawaiian records and the shell.

• Gould, A.A. (1862) Descriptions of new genera and species of shells. Boston Society of Natural History, Proceedings, 8: 280-285.
• Kay, E.A. (1962) Julia exquisita Gould, a bivalved gastropod. Pacific Science, 16(4): 434-435.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2001 (October 4) Julia exquisita (Gould, 1862). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/juliexqu

Related messages

  1. Julia exquisita found in my tank
    From: Andy Jukes, August 14, 2006
  2. The bivalved sacoglossan genus Julia in Hawaii
    From: Cory Pittman, October 12, 2001
  3. Hawaiian Julia exquisita
    From: Cory Pittman, October 12, 2001
  4. Shell of Julia exquisita
    From: Cory Pittman, October 12, 2001
  5. The bivalved sacoglossan Julia exquisita
    From: Bill Rudman, July 21, 1999

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