Melibe viridis in East Timor

November 2, 2006
From: Brian Francisco

Hi Bill

We found two distinct species of Melibe this morning, including three individuals that I believe to be Melibe viridis. Although we have seen relatively small species of Melibe in the past (perhaps juvenile viridis), this is our first encounter with the larger Melibe. While we observed, one of the individuals caught and ate a small crab. It seemed to take about 10 seconds for the Melibe to work the live crab into its 'mouth' before continuing its hunt.

Locality: Tasi Tolu, 15 meters, East Timor, Banda Sea, 13 August 2006, Sandy Slope. Length: 10-12cm. Photographer: Brian Francisco.

Just a few weeks ago I commented somewhat sympathetically on sea slugs' incredible ability to endure the stinging, biting, and otherwise annoying microscopic 'wildlife' they encounter. But these Melibe seem more like formidable predators, unlikely to be deterred by a pesky syllid.

UnderWater East Timor

Francisco, B., 2006 (Nov 2) Melibe viridis in East Timor. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Brian,
It's a bit hard to separate some of the 'species' of Melibe, especially from photos, but I would agree that your animals are most likely to be Melibe viridis. They are indeed very efficient predators - fortunately for small crustacea they only seem to occur in large groups on rare occasions.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Nov 2). Comment on Melibe viridis in East Timor by Brian Francisco. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Melibe viridis

Related messages

  1. Melibe viridis from South Africa
    From: Valda Fraser, November 20, 2009
  2. Re: Melibe viridis in East Timor
    From: Brian Francisco, November 20, 2009
  3. Melibe viridis from Singapore
    From: Toh Chay Hoon, October 31, 2008
  4. Is this a Melibe?
    From: Ron Yeo, October 27, 2008
  5. Melibe viridis from Lembeh Straits
    From: Mark Atwell, October 24, 2008
  6. Melibe sp. from Thailand
    From: Lawrence Neal, October 24, 2008
  7. Re: Melibe viridis laying eggs
    From: Teresa Zuberbühler, June 11, 2008
  8. Re: Melibe viridis - edge of the oral hood
    From: Teresa Zuberbühler, June 6, 2008
  9. Melibe viridis laying eggs
    From: Teresa Zuberbühler, June 5, 2008
  10. Sea slug with paddles?
    From: Annabelle Sandes, November 30, 2007
  11. Melibe mirifica from Sulawesi
    From: Ken Tucker, June 18, 2007
  12. Melibe viridis from Davao Gulf
    From: Carlos R. Munda, May 25, 2007
  13. Sweet-smelling Melibe from South Korea
    From: Grace N. Palmos, November 7, 2006
  14. Melibe viridis from Buton Island, Banda Sea
    From: Linda Ianniello, December 3, 2005
  15. Melibe from the Gulf of Kutch, India
    From: Arpit Deomurari, July 1, 2005
  16. Melibe from the Mediterranean
    From: Katerina Tzouvali & Dimitris Pettas, March 3, 2005
  17. Melibe mirifica from Indoneisa
    From: Patricia Danna, March 19, 2004
  18. Melibe viridis ? from the Philippines
    From: Erwin Koehler, December 18, 2003
  19. Melibe? from Japan
    From: John Perry, July 29, 2001
  20. Melibe mirifica from Papua New Guinea
    From: Mary Jane Adams, September 21, 2000
  21. A Melibe? from Papua New Guinea
    From: Alan M. Grant, January 7, 1999

Show factsheet and all related messages