Melanochlamys cylindrica from New Zealand

June 12, 2003
From: Paul Furneaux

Hi Bill,
Here are the photos I promised of Melanochlamys cylindrica, the information that you posted on the Forum has been very helpful in identifying this one. This specimen was approximately 3cm long and I placed it on the Ulva and Sand Dollar to try to give some contrast to this rather difficult photographic subject. I counted 4 specimens on May 29th, and this was the first time that I had encountered them, although an increase in knowledge and experience has probably enhanced my observation skills. All four specimens were actively moving over the mud surface in shallow pools, and the location was in the same area of Tauranga Harbour, New Zealand that I have photographed both Philinopsis taronga and Haminoea zelandiae (mid to low - intertidal area of flats that contain extensive areas of Zostera and Ulva, off the Otumoetai Peninsula within the harbour.

I plan to try the polychaete worm test with them next time that I'm out.

Paul Furneaux.

Furneaux, P., 2003 (Jun 12) Melanochlamys cylindrica from New Zealand. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Paul,
As you have discovered, the colour of this animal makes it almost impossible to photograph. Once you get a 'searching image' for it you will find it is also quite common at times on intertidal rock platforms, especially amongst coralline algal turf.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Jun 12). Comment on Melanochlamys cylindrica from New Zealand by Paul Furneaux. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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