Melibe megaceras from Malaysia (2)

April 17, 2003
From: Harry Erhardt

Dear Bill,
To acompany my other message here are some photos of Melibe together.

Mantanani Is, near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. In 24m depth [19-24 March, 2003] Photos: Harry Erhardt

There were hundreds of animals and many were together. I suspect the pair in the lower photo are mating. As I said in my earlier message I think that this Melibe is now at a reproductive stage, because usually you only see so many animals coming together when they are forming breeding aggregations.

Dr Harry Erhardt

Erhardt, H., 2003 (Apr 17) Melibe megaceras from Malaysia (2). [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks again Harry,
Yes I think the pair in the bottom photo are probably mating. In Melibe the common genital opening is on the right side near the head, so for mating they need to get into this tête à tête position. You are probably correct that they are at a breeding stage in their life cycle. Terry Gosliner suggested that they may have a similar synchronous cycle in Hawaii. What we don't know is if they migrate to 'breeding grounds' when they mature, or whether they stay at the same locality all their lives and only become obvious when they are big and breeding. Have a look at the Mass Mortality page for further discussion on this topic.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Apr 17). Comment on Melibe megaceras from Malaysia (2) by Harry Erhardt. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Melibe megaceras

Related messages

  1. Re: Melibe megaceras from Red Sea
    From: Bill Rudman, March 15, 2005
  2. Melibe megaceras from the Red Sea
    From: Oren Lederman, March 12, 2005
  3. Melibe megaceras from the Great Barrier Reef
    From: Bill Rudman, May 6, 2003
  4. Melibe megaceras from Malaysia
    From: Harry Erhardt, April 17, 2003
  5. Melibe megaceras - detail of the head
    From: Bill Rudman, April 17, 2003
  6. Melibe megaceras - anatomical details
    From: Bill Rudman, April 17, 2003

Show factsheet and all related messages