Chelidonura hirundinina from U.S.Virgin Islands

September 6, 2007
From: Carly Kauffman

Dear Dr. Rudman,
This specimen was one of 6 that I saw at Maho Bay, St. John We are in the Atlantic Ocean very near to Puerto Rico. In a book I have by Paul Humann he says that they eat other head shield slugs. Does that mean they eat each other?

I really enjoyed seeing these with my friend Caroline! I had never observed this species before.

Locality: Maho Bay, St. John, 6 meters, U.S.Virgin Islands, Atlantic Ocean, 01 September 2007, sandy sea grass bed. Length: 3 1/2 cm. Photographer: Carly Kauffman.

Carly Kauffman

Kauffman, C.M., 2007 (Sep 6) Chelidonura hirundinina from U.S.Virgin Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Carly,

Yes this is a spectacularly coloured species. I'm not quite sure where Paul Humann got the information on them eating other head shield slugs or aglajids. If he has observed it himself that would be very interesting because as far as I know species of Chelidonura have only been observed eating small flatworms - many of which have split 'tails' which make them look like a small Chelidonura.

Many species of Chelidonura occur in large numbers for a short time and then disappear, so its not surprising you have never seen it before.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Sep 6). Comment on Chelidonura hirundinina from U.S.Virgin Islands by Carly Kauffman. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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