Messina Strait, 7 metres, Sicily, Mediterranean sea, 4 July 2006, Sand. Length: 15 mm.. Photographer: Alberto Villari.
The animal is cylindrical in shape with the head shield occupying the front half of the body. The headshield is rounded posteriorly and slightly overlaps the posterior shield in which the typically reduced, but calcified, shell is embedded. The animal is white and reaches about 15 mm in length.
Originally described from the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, the animal was described as 'wax white' and was between 8-10 mm long preserved (Vayssiere, 1926 - as Doridium seurati). On the basis of Vayssiere's description of the shell and external shape it was later placed in the genus Melanochlamys (see Rudman, 1972; 1974). The only other species from the Atlantic which possibly could be a species of Melanochlamys is Doridium maderense Watson, 1897 which was described from Madeira. However its generic placement is unsure and it was reported to have red spots.
Gosliner, T. M. (1980) Systematics and phylogeny of the Aglajidae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 68: 325-360.
Rudman, W.B. (1972) On Melanochlamys Cheeseman, 1881, a genus of the Aglajidae (Opisthobranchia: Gastropoda). Pacific Science, 26(1): 50-62, 8 figs.
Rudman, W.B. (1974) A comparison of Chelidonura, Navanax and Aglaja with other genera of the Aglajidae (Opisthobranchia, Gastropoda). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 54(3): 185-212.
Vayssière, A. (1926) Description d'une nouvelle espèce de Doridium, le Doridium seurati, provenant du Golfe de Gabès (Tunisie). Journal de Conchyliologie, 70: 125-128.
Rudman, W.B., 2006 (July 13) Melanochlamys seurati (Vayssière, 1926). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/melaseur