Melibe from SE Sulawesi

February 29, 2000
From: Lindsay Warren

Dear Bill
I found this heavily disguised Melibe at approximately 8pm on 2 November 1999 at a depth of 5 ft on a batch of dark red filamentous algae on the sand and seagrass flats of Pulau Hoga [Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia - Operation Wallacea]. Size: 20 mm.

It is transparent with flecks of dark green and white and through the body one can see its internal organs. The oral veil is relatively small but just visible in these two shots. Along both sides of the body are 2 long papillate cerata which terminate in 2-3 'spiky' extensions. The rhinophores are simple and transparent. A very curious specimen which I almost lost in our aquarium because it blends in so well with its
surroundings. There were also a lot of small Stylocheilus striata (5-10mm) in the same patch of algae. Photos: Lindsay Warren.

Can you identify the species?
All the best
Lindsay Warren

Warren, L., 2000 (Feb 29) Melibe from SE Sulawesi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lindsay,
This is a species of Melibe, and I am pretty sure it is a juvenile Melibe viridis. M. viridis is the only species with such a flattened top to the 'tip' of its ceratal processes. Most 'species' are incredibly well camouflaged, and even when they are much larger the transparency is replaced with a mottled pattern of camouflage colours. Identifying species is quite difficult because they have no radula.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Feb 29). Comment on Melibe from SE Sulawesi by Lindsay Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Melibe engeli

Related messages

  1. Melibe engeli and its oral hood
    From: Charles Raabe, October 27, 2008
  2. Melibe engeli - aquarium hitchhiker
    From: Can Tunali, May 2, 2008
  3. Giant-mouthed shrimp-eating sea slug
    From: Katie LeFevre, November 14, 2007
  4. More on Melibe engeli
    From: Jung Eun Yoon, July 5, 2007
  5. Melibe engeli from the Philippines
    From: Jung Eun Yoon, May 25, 2007
  6. Melibe with eggs from East Timor
    From: Brian Francisco, December 7, 2006
  7. Melibe sp? in my aquarium
    From: Michael Biester, February 15, 2006
  8. Re: Hitch-hiking Melibe engeli
    From: Todd Gardner, February 1, 2004
  9. Hitch-hiking Melibe engeli
    From: Joe Yaiullo, January 30, 2004
  10. Melibe engeli - dextral egg spiral
    From: Bill Rudman, March 6, 2003
  11. Melibe engeli in aquarium
    From: Andrew Trevor-Jones, January 28, 2002
  12. Melibe engeli from Japan
    From: Atsushi Ono, March 5, 2000
  13. Re: Melibe sp. from S.E. Sulawesi
    From: Terry Gosliner, March 3, 2000

Show factsheet and all related messages