Chelinodura punctata from Reunion Island?

July 2, 2005
From: Philibert Bidgrain

Dear Bill,
Reunion Island sea slugs.
We find this specimen only in November to December in a permanent pool on the rocky coast at Cap "la Houssaye". The maximun length of this animal is about 25 mm and the shell length is 7 mm. I think that it's Chelidonura punctata, with its relatively large yellow-orange spots. How does it differ from C. sandrana, which is also present in our area.

Locality: Saint Paul, Reunion island. Indian Ocean. Length: max 25 mm.
Photographer: Maurice Jay

Best Regards
Philibert Bidgrain

Bidgrain, P., 2005 (Jul 2) Chelinodura punctata from Reunion Island?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Philibert,
Yes this is Chelidonura punctata. The main colour difference with C. sandrana is that the yellow spots in that species, if present, are much smaller and are not found on the ventral surface, while in C. punctata the spots are relatively large and do occur on the sole of the foot. C. sandrana is also usually smaller. Although it can reach 20 mm in length, it is seldom more than half that size.

One interesting thing about your photo is the yellowish brown stain in the water at the posterior end of its body. This is the secretion from its yellow gland, which is a gland found only in the Aglajidae. Like the purple gland  found in the Sea Hares, its function is unknown.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2005 (Jul 2). Comment on Chelinodura punctata from Reunion Island? by Philibert Bidgrain. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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