Chelidonura hirundinina in the Solomons

September 24, 2001
From: Bruce Potter

Dear Bill,
I was intrigued last Sunday to find a sand bank absolutely covered with very small Chelidonura's. Some were Chelidonura inornata and some were what I believe to be Chelidonura hirundinina. These were mainly about 5mm to 10mm long. There were dozens of each kind.

I found one slightly larger C.hirundinina, and as I have never seen it before I observed it for a while. It appeared to be actively hunting, and then I saw it attack a couple of what appeared to be very small flat worms. I have this all on video, and the worms are quite easy to see although very small, but I can't identify them. On the LOWER RIGHT photo you can see a small worm to the immediate right of the Chelidonura's head. In that it is only a frame taken from a video, it is not very distinct unfortunately.

This was in about 8 meters on the sandy slope beside the Bonegi 1 shipwreck just out of Honiara in the Solomon Islands. This particular slug was about 25mm long. [September, 2001].

Bruce Potter.

Poytter, B., 2001 (Sep 24) Chelidonura hirundinina in the Solomons. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Bruce,
It's nice to have another record of a feeding observation. Concerning the large populations of small animals you found. It seems this a common occurrence. I have often found large populations of small animals and then after a few weeks they have all gone. I assume what happens is that a swarm of larvae have to arrive in a suitable spot at the same time as a large population of small flatworms are in residence.
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (Sep 24). Comment on Chelidonura hirundinina in the Solomons by Bruce Potter. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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