Noalda sp? from SE Sulawesi, Indonesia

July 5, 2002
From: Lindsey Warren

Dear Bill
I found this super little chap (OWN204) at 7.30am on 3 November 1999 at a depth of 38 ft crawling over rubble and filamentous algae on one of the walls of Pulau Hoga [Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia - Operation Wallacea ]. Size: 6 mm.

The body is completely speckled white with the edges to the parapodia, the head shield and tails being more a solid white. Two eye spots are visible beneath the head shield on either side of the head. There is a narrow opening towards the rear of the centre section of the body which is rounded and it looked as if there might be a shell there. This opening occasionally contracted. The right tail is shorter than the left and both are rounded. When in mid water it occasionally flapped its parapodia but did not seem to do this consistently.
Photos: Lindsay Warren.

Have you seen him before?
All the best
Lindsay Warren

Warren, L., 2002 (Jul 5) Noalda sp? from SE Sulawesi, Indonesia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lindsay,
No I haven't seen this before but it looks very like some drawings of an animal identified by Bob Burn as Noalda exigua Iredale, 1936, a species originally described from Australia from an empty shell. See Burn & Thompson (1998) Order Cephalaspidea In The Southern Synthesis: 943-959 - [Fig 16-31].

It is an interesting find. I suspect the crescent shaped mark on the posterior shield is an opening to the shell cavity. In Noalda exigua this is a much larger opening. Noalda is considered by Burn & Thompson to be an aglajid but I know of no information on its anatomy
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Jul 5). Comment on Noalda sp? from SE Sulawesi, Indonesia by Lindsey Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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