Marine pulmonate slug from India

April 4, 2007
From: Doug Eernisse

A biologist from India has requested IDs of these two slug species. I work on chitons.

Locality: near Gujarat, India, Arabian Sea, 11 March 2007, intertidal. Approx 65 mm long. Photographer: Dr. Rahul Kundu.

Doug Eernisse.

Eernisse, D.J., 2007 (Apr 4) Marine pulmonate slug from India. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Doug,
I remember finding these myself in the Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat, 35 years ago.  This is a remarkable marine pulmonate slug, which looks very much  like a nudibranch. The gills on its back certainly look quite dorid-like, but although in this photo they seem to be restricted to the posterior end of the animal, the tubercles all over the dorsum have similar 'gills' inside, just waiting to evert when they are covered with sea water.

Its name is Onchidium verruculatum. Have a look at the Marine Pulmonate Fact Sheet for more information, and at the messages attached to that page, where there are more photos and information. What I find interesting in these photos is just how similar the gills are in shape and size to the matted Valonia-like green algae growing on the rocks alongside. In the close-up photo alongside, the gills are on the left and the algae is on the right. This Onchidium is very difficult to see at low tide, when it looks just like a bit of the limestone rock platform, but its seems that even when covered at high tide, with its gills out, it is almost invisble as well.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Apr 4). Comment on Marine pulmonate slug from India by Doug Eernisse. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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