Oxynoe viridis
(Pease, 1861)

Superfamily: OXYNOOIDEA
Family: Oxynoidae


Tropical and warm temperate Indo-West Pacific.


UPPER: Two animals on Caulerpa filiformis, Shelly Bch, Manly, Sydney, 6m, March 1984. Note enrolled structure of rhinophores clearly visible in smaller animal.
LOWER: Koumac Beach (=Baie de Ouanap), near Koumac, New Caledonia, grass-beds, algae, October 1993, 2 specimens (25 & 31mm long alive), showing colour variation.
PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.

Species of Oxynoe are found feeding on a variety of species of Caulerpa where they are well camouflaged because of their colour. There are a number of different species, but the common one throughout the Indo-West Pacific, Oxynoe viridis, would appear to be somewhat variable in colour even in a single locality. The green can very from dark green to grenish yellow and the blue spots can be range from large blue eyespots all over the body to small blue specks along the parapodial edge. Some variation is illustrated on this page.

Oxynoe has a fragile bubble-shaped shell which is partially enclosed by parapodial flaps. They can produce a sticky white secretion when attacked or disturbed, and in extreme danger they can break off the long muscular foot which continues to wriggle vigorously for some time after it is broken off. In time, a new tail will grow.

• Pease, W.H. (1861). Descriptions of new species of Mollusca from the Pacific Islands. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 242-247.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (July 12) Oxynoe viridis (Pease, 1861). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/oxynviri

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