Melibe engeli - dextral egg spiral

March 6, 2003
From: Bill Rudman

After thinking about Irina Roginskaya's message on the dextral coiling of the egg ribbon of Melibe australis, I wondered if perhaps the direction of egg coiling was related to evolutionary descent rather than which hemisphere the species lived in. The only other record of a Melibe egg mass I could think of was this one of Melibe engeli which I had photographed in New Caledonia.

Photo: Koumac Beach (=Baie de Ouanap), near Koumac, New Caledonia, 20°34'S, 164°16'E, 22 October 1993, many animals 43-54mm long alive. Photos: Bill Rudman.

A photo of this egg mass has been on the species Fact Sheet for some years, but we have overlooked that it is also dextral. Although dextral egg masses in two species of Melibe from the southern hemisphere can't really be said to prove anything, it would certainly be interesting to see photos of the egg ribbons of other species of Melibe. If anyone has any, please check carefully when scanning that the slide is not reversed.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Mar 6) Melibe engeli - dextral egg spiral. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Melibe engeli

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