Chelidonura behaviour

October 10, 2001
From: Jeanette McInnes

Dear Dr Rudman,
Thanks for the info re: how many eggs the nudis lay, I've taken notes so I don't forget.

I guess the nudi I saw on RR #10 could have been Dendrodoris nigra, although the one I saw definitely had neon red spots, unlike the one in the Debelius book.

While flipping through readers' letters, I was interested in the Chelidonura correspondence, since the Great Barrier Reef is teeming with Chelidonura inornata. What struck me was the remark that Chelidonura means 'claw tail' (I haven't done classical Greek since '72!). When there's strong current, I've often seen C. inornata hanging on for dear life using what seem to be impossibly small 'toenails', 1 on each tail, so I guessed that was why the Chelidonuras evolved into twin tailed critters; 2 toenails being better than 1, especially when their stomach-foot doesn't seem to be particularly adhesive.
Jeanette McInnes.

McInnes, J., 2001 (Oct 10) Chelidonura behaviour. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jeanette,
Thanks for the C. inornata observation. Certainly worth checking out,
Bill Rudman

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