Re: Non-swimming species of Melibe

March 1, 2003
From: Audrey Falconer

Concerning the discussion about non-swimming species of Melibe, here is a photo of Melibe australis, taken by my husband Leon Altoff. Specimen will be lodged with the Museum of Victoria shortly. Det. R. Burn.

Specimen was collected at Harmer's Haven, north-west of Cape Patterson in Victoria, Australia on 5 January 2003. It was a bit over an inch long.

We did take about 20 photos of this specimen so if you want any more or specific angles I can check if we have them.

Thanks Audrey,
You have certainly shamed me into organising some photos of Melibe australis, which I have posted today in a series of messages. My photos match Angas's original description and painting, which was of an animal from Sydney Harbour, very well so I don't think there is much doubt as to the identity of M. australis. However I do have some doubts about the identity of your animal. The animal in your photo seems to have inflated cerata, as does M. australis, while most of the genus have flattened cerata. However the shape of the cerata is quite different from that of typical M. australis and it lacks the papillae found in that species. It also seems to lack the prominent dendritic papillae or gills found on the back of M. australis. I suspect you animal may be another small species of Melibe from southern Australia.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Mar 1). Comment on Re: Non-swimming species of Melibe by Audrey Falconer. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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