Another report of Polycera chilluna

September 17, 2003
From: Sandy Smith

Dear Bill,
I spent this past weekend diving off Morehead City, North Carolina [13-14 September 2003]. I am happy to report that I have found some more specimens of Polycera chilluna (which I now call "Butterfingers nudibranch").

We were diving the German U boat [the U-352] in 110 fsw (located approximately 5 miles from the previous sighting on the Hardy's wreck) on Sept 14 when I spotted a very small specimen 3/4 - 1 inch in length. My husband and I then spotted 6 others in about a 5 foot area. My husband then spotted what we believe to be an egg casing. We did not see any specimens as large as the one seen earlier on Hardy's wreck. Could these be juveniles released from the egg casing? Unfortunately that was our last dive of the trip. Hurricane Isabelle was probably 800 miles away and we had alot of surge on the wreck. I did my best to get a few shots before we had to leave.

I'm not sure if they were feeding or just hanging on. Hope they are still around after the Hurricane.

Sandy Smith

Smith, S., 2003 (Sep 17) Another report of Polycera chilluna. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Sandy,
This is a great addition to your earlier message. I have attached your photos of the egg ribbon, and an animal feeding to a separate message.

The two animals in this message show the colour pattern well, the six tapeting tentacles on the oral veil, and the orange plant-like bryozoan colony on which this animal is clearly feeding. If the satellite photos I have seen on the tv news of your hurricane are anything to go by I suspect these animals will need to produce some form of supaglue from the sole of their foot rather quickly
Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Sep 17). Comment on Another report of Polycera chilluna by Sandy Smith. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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