Chelidonura chelidonura from Fiji

February 9, 2002
From: Julian Sprung

Dear Bill,
I was recently in Fiji and I had a chance to observe and photograph the Chelidonura hirundinina-like species I had seen there 2 years ago. I suppose it is just a local variation of Chelidonura hirundinina , but it lacks the mid-body crescent shaped saddle stripe common to other color forms I've seen published.

I have attached some photographs of it and another species , similar to C. inornata, that occurred with it. Note the length of the tails in one photograph of the Chelidonura hirundinina-like species.

Both species occur together in abundance in shallow water on algae-covered rubble and sand. I believe they may hybridize in this situation, which may influence the coloration of each.

Julian Sprung

Sprung, J., 2002 (Feb 9) Chelidonura chelidonura from Fiji. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Julian,
Thanks for these photos. Yes it is C. hirundinina which is quite variable in colour. As I discuss in your other message your other 'form' is indeed a distinct species. There is no evidence to suggest 'good' species do hybridise with other species. In fact the absence of hybridisation is usually taken as good evidence to show two animals are in fact different species.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Feb 9). Comment on Chelidonura chelidonura from Fiji by Julian Sprung . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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