Finding mates

February 14, 2001
From: Mary Jane Adams

Hi Bill,
I have always wondered how sea slugs find each other in the vast space of the ocean. I once observed two Notodoris minor making a connection, but haven't a clue how it happened. I was swimming over a sand slope in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea when I saw these two slugs crawling along at about 5 meters. The one on the left was creeping along in typical sluglike fashion, but the one on the right was streaking directly toward it from the side. This normally torpid slug covered more than two meters in just a few minutes. I took this shot just as they made contact. Unfortunately, I was low on air and could not stay around to see what happened next, but I have a good imagination. Luadi, PNG, September, 1994.
Best regards,
Mary Jane

Adams, M.J., 2001 (Feb 14) Finding mates. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Mary Jane,
I couldn't resist posting this one on Valentine's Day. With the recent announcement from the Human Genome Team that our genetic makeup is not much advanced on a worm's, it makes you wonder whether mate selection for humans is much more advanced than for slugs. Certainly for slugs, we can be pretty sure that love is blind, which is exactly what the poets say about humans ..... perhaps I should stop this train of thought before I get into trouble.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Feb 14). Comment on Finding mates by Mary Jane Adams. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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