Ink from Navanax aenigmaticus

June 9, 2001
From: Elianny Domínguez Tejo

Dear Bill,
This is something new for us. I was trying to get a good picture of Navanax aenigmaticus, but she/he wasn't in the mood. The animal was crawling all over the tray and it was high noon, with the sun bright and hot over me, so I was about to faint.

I took a little wood stick and I tried to move the animal away from the edge of the tray (which obviously I didn't do) and as you can see in the picture, a dark yellow ink came out of the little fellow (from the posterior end, I think). It's just like the purple ink of Bursatella and Aplysia.

I took a very fast picture of the moment, and pray the photo was a good one. Then I figure the yellow ink meant “women, leave me alone all ready”, so I did.

The animal was found on a rocky shore, at 10 cm of depth, in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and it is 2.5 cm long.

Elianny Domínguez Tejo.

Domínguez, E., 2001 (Jun 9) Ink from Navanax aenigmaticus. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Elianny,
This is a very interesting photo. It is the first time I have seen a photo of this yellow ink. I first noticed this yellow secretion in species of aglajid I was studying in New Zealand (Rudman, 1972) and called the gland that produced it the Yellow Gland to match the Purple Gland of the Sea Hares.

I have prepared a page on the Yellow Gland. have a look there for more information.

• Rudman, W.B. (1972) On Melanochlamys Cheeseman, 1881, a genus of the Aglajidae (Opisthobranchia: Gastropoda). Pacific Science, 26(1): 50-62.

Although the photo is not what you planned, it is very valuable
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Jun 9). Comment on Ink from Navanax aenigmaticus by Elianny Domínguez Tejo. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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