Melibe engeli from the Philippines

May 25, 2007
From: Jung Eun Yoon

Dr. Rudman,
I found this Melibe engeli in Boracay, Philippines, can you confirm its identity from the pictures? The body was about 8 cm long, was transparent through which I could see a few dark balls (suppose they were zooxanthellae), swam vigorously by laterally flexing the body. Even when I put it on the hand, it moved so fast that it was difficult to take a good picture. Nearby were found two egg masses which were dextral.

In the same area we also found 2 Melibe viridis, and another egg mass which was completely opaque. Species of Melibe are rare and only seasonal. Nowadays the sandy bottom is covered with algae. The Melibe viridis was on the algae but the Melibe engeli was on a rock. I am sorry I cannot provide any details about its rhinophore.

Locality: Boracay island, 3.5 m, Philippines, Sulu Sea, 23 March 2007, Sandy bottom with rocks. Length: 8 cm. Photographer: Yeong Jeon.

Yoon, J.E., 2007 (May 25) Melibe engeli from the Philippines. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jung Eun,
I agree that this is most probably M engeli. It looks a bit like M. bucephala but in that species the cerata are quite elongated, as are the papillae at the end of the cerata.

I assume the egg mass alongside was one of those found with Melibe viridis? It is a bit big for the M. engeli. It is nice to get a good photo.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (May 25). Comment on Melibe engeli from the Philippines by Jung Eun Yoon. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Melibe engeli

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