Re: What is this?

August 18, 2008
From: John Taylor

Concerning message #21736:

Dear Bill

I have seen this image and video clip before - sent to me by Paul Scott. I am fairly confident that it is a member of Solecurtidae. Very similar images of Solecurtus swimming were published by Bromley and Asgaard in the Edinburgh Congress Bivalvia volume.

  • Bromley, R.G and Asgaard, U, 1990. Solecurtus strigilatus: a jet propelled burrowing bivalve. pp313-320 [In:] The Bivalvia. ­Proceedings of a Memorial Symposium in Honour of Sir Charles Maurice Yonge, Edinburgh, 1986. Hong Kong University Press

John Taylor
Natural History Museum, London.

Taylor, J. D., 2008 (Aug 18) Re: What is this?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks John,
I know its not a sea slug, but it's good to be able to clear up this little mystery. I wondered about Solecurtus but couldn't see any signs of the annulations on the siphons which I would have expected to see in that genus. After looking again at Willy Vanderweert's photos I can see that there are rings of white marks which must indicate the annulations normally found in species of this genus. For those of you unfamilar with Solecurtus, the 'annulations' I speak of are regular grooves around the siphons which make them look segmented. When attacked or nibbled by a predator, the bivalve is able to break off one or more of these segments as a replaceable sacrifice. [see autotomy page]. Clearly when the siphons are so inflated during swimming, the grooves disappear.  One apparent difference between this species and Solecurtus strigilatus, is that the shell is covered with mantle lobes, - something  not present in S. strigilatus.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Aug 18). Comment on Re: What is this? by John Taylor. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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