Chelidonura punctata in South Africa

June 27, 2005
From: Colin Ogden

Hi Bill,
These photos were taken this morning on a dive here at Sodwana. I have allredy had a few sightings of this Nudi, but on checking on the forum and in Gosliner's book, I don't see it as having been reorded here in South Africa before. Gosliner records Chelidonura fulvipunctata, which appears quite different from this nudi. Is my ID correct, and have you had him from SA before.

Locality:  Sodwana Bay, South Africa, Indian Ocean. Depth: 23 metres, Length: 30 mm. June 25 2005. Coral reef. Photographer: Colin Ogden


Ogden C M, 2005 (Jun 27) Chelidonura punctata in South Africa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Colin,
Your ID is correct, and yes I'm pretty sure this is a new record from South Africa. It is not a surprise that this species occurs on the tropical waters of eastern South Africa, but it is certainly good to have evidence.  Can I assume you saw it crawling over this live coral colony? Why I ask is that there are many photos of species of Chelidonura crawling over corals like this is popular colour photo books, sometimes with captions suggesting they feed on the coral mucus. We now know that the reason they crawl over corals like this is to search for their prey - small flat worms which often occur on coral colonies in large numbers.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Jun 27). Comment on Chelidonura punctata in South Africa by Colin Ogden. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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