Re: Melibe sp. from S.E. Sulawesi

March 3, 2000
From: Terry Gosliner

Dear Bill,
Lindsay Warren's Melibe photo is probably Melibe engeli Risbec. We have found numerous specimens in the Philippines and Hawaii. My graduate student, Vic Smith and I are completing a review of Melibe with a re-description of M. engeli and several other Indo-Pacific species, including three new species.

Gosliner, T., 2000 (Mar 3) Re: Melibe sp. from S.E. Sulawesi. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Terry,
In response to your message I have finished a page I was preparing on Melibe engeli. I decided against M. engeli for Lindsay's photos for two reasons. Firstly the cerata in her photos is flattened across the top even though it has three papillae, while in M. engeli the tip is always pointed and the papillae clustered together. The second point is that M. engeli has a very large elaborate rhinophore stalk while in M. viridis the stalk is simple and both the stalk and rhinophore club are relatively very small. I can't see them clearly in her photo but the mention of 'simple rhinophores' suggested the M. viridis type to me.

I don't know if we know enough about the juvenile stages of the larger species to say that long terminal papillae are exclusive to certain species. Perhaps juvenile M. viridis have ceratal papillae in juveniles which are absent in adults. Perhaps Lindsay can give us an idea about the rhinophores now there are a couple of species on the Forum for comparison.

I look forward to your next revision of Melibe

Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Mar 3). Comment on Re: Melibe sp. from S.E. Sulawesi by Terry Gosliner. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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