Chelidonura from Mooloolaba

June 20, 1998
From: Wayne Ellis

Hi Bill,
Here is another of Steve Grail's photos. It was taken off Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, southern Queensland, in 10-20m, between 1996 and 1998.
Wayne Ellis

Ellis, W., 1998 (Jun 20) Chelidonura from Mooloolaba. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Species of Chelidonura are sometimes called the "Tailed Slugs" because of the long pointed tail-like extensions on the posterior shield. The Family Aglajidae consists of carnivorous Bubble Shells in which each genus seems to specialise on a different group of animals as food. The genus Melanochlamys feeds on polychaete worms, and Philinopsis and Aglaja on other opisthobranchs, especially other Bubble Shells. As yet we have no information on what Chelidonura species feed on. Some common species, like Chelidonura inornata, are often seen crawling over living coral colonies. Perhaps they feed on small polyclad flatworms, which are sometimes common on coral colonies and would leave no recognisable gut contents. As with my comments on Sagaminopteron, if anyone has observations on any species of Chelidonura feeding, please let us know. Most aglajids retain a reduced flattened shell hidden beneath their skin in the back half of the body. Aglajids are characterised by their Sensory Bristles which are found in raised ridges on either side of the mouth. The bristles are compound cilia which apparently "smell" the mucous trail of other Bubble Shells, enabling the aglajids to track them down ... Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1998 (Jun 20). Comment on Chelidonura from Mooloolaba by Wayne Ellis. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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