Smaragdinella calyculata from Lifou

January 12, 2004
From: Bill Rudman

To accompany Jun Imamoto's message concerning an animal which looks like Smaragdinella from Japan, here are a couple of photos of Smaragdinella calyculata from Lifou.

I found them at Druelu, on intertidal limestone rocks in the surge zone with Siphonaria and other limpets. They were quite abundant and ranged in length from 14-20 mm. Their colour was in various shades of green with bright white patches around the parapodial edge. In some animals there were a few white specks scattered on the parapodia as well. [Lifou, Loyalty Ids, New Caledonia, November, 2000. AM C390347. Photos: Bill Rudman]

As I discuss in the Fact Sheet, Smaragdinella is the closest thing to a 'limpet' amongst the cephalaspid 'bubble shells'. It lives at the same place on the shore as many limpets, and its compact shape and large muscular foot make it difficult to prise the animal off the rock at low tide. Its habit also resembles that of the sea hare Dolabrifera. Its anatomy clearly shows that it is closely related to other herbivorous bubble shells such as Haminoea and Phanerophthalmus. As I illustrate in a separate message, its shell is very flattened, reduced to little more than the body whorl.

Best wishes
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2004 (Jan 12) Smaragdinella calyculata from Lifou. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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