Chelidonura inornata from sthn New South Wales

March 13, 2006
From: Francis Hawkshaw

Black sea slugs.
I have taken these photos of some small sea slugs? in a rock pool near the Gerroa boat ramp on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.
These small slug- like sea creatures were not large. They had long tails, at first I thought that they only had one tail but the photographs showed two tails. They had white markings on their heads, with what appeared to be large yellow/orange goggle like eyes sockets with a bright blue bar across below these.

Locality: Gerroa, rock pool just under water line, NSW, Pacific Ocean, 12 March 2006, clear sea water intertidal. Length: 1 or 2 inches . Photographer: Francis Hawkshaw.

Can you identify them please?
Francis Hawkshaw
Kiama NSW

Hawkshaw, F., 2006 (Mar 13) Chelidonura inornata from sthn New South Wales. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Francis,
These are indeed sea slugs. This is Chelidonura inornata. Species of Chelidonura are sometimes called 'tailed sea slugs' for obvious reasons. This is usually a tropical species, but it often extends south down the eastern Australian coast to southern New South Wales when warm water eddies from the eastern Australian current move inshore, as they are at the moment, bathing the coast in quite warm water.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Mar 13). Comment on Chelidonura inornata from sthn New South Wales by Francis Hawkshaw. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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