Messina Strait, 7 metres, Sicily, Mediterranean sea, 4 July 2006, Sand. Length: 15 mm.. Photographer: Alberto Villari.
The animal is cylindrical in shape with the head shield occupying the front half of the body. The headshield is rounded posteriorly and slightly overlaps the posterior shield in which the typically reduced, but calcified, shell is embedded. The animal is white and reaches about 15 mm in length.
Originally described from the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, the animal was described as 'wax white' and was between 8-10 mm long preserved (Vayssiere, 1926 - as Doridium seurati). On the basis of Vayssiere's description of the shell and external shape it was later placed in the genus Melanochlamys (see Rudman, 1972; 1974). The only other species from the Atlantic which possibly could be a species of Melanochlamys is Doridium maderense Watson, 1897 which was described from Madeira. However its generic placement is unsure and it was reported to have red spots.
Gosliner, T. M. (1980) Systematics and phylogeny of the Aglajidae (Opisthobranchia: Mollusca). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 68: 325-360.
Rudman, W.B. (1972) On Melanochlamys Cheeseman, 1881, a genus of the Aglajidae (Opisthobranchia: Gastropoda). Pacific Science, 26(1): 50-62, 8 figs.
Rudman, W.B. (1974) A comparison of Chelidonura, Navanax and Aglaja with other genera of the Aglajidae (Opisthobranchia, Gastropoda). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 54(3): 185-212.
Vayssière, A. (1926) Description d'une nouvelle espèce de Doridium, le Doridium seurati, provenant du Golfe de Gabès (Tunisie). Journal de Conchyliologie, 70: 125-128.
Rudman, W.B., 2006 (July 13) Melanochlamys seurati (Vayssière, 1926). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/melaseur
July 14, 2006
From: Alberto Villari
I have found this specimen, 10 July 2006, in Messina Strait (Sicily) in association with Condylactis aurantiaca, 7 metres deep, on sand. I have not never seen this species in several years. The photo was taken after the animal died and the true color is white.
Locality: Messina Strait, 7 metres, Sicily, Mediterranean sea, 4 July 2006, Sand. Length: 15mm.. Photographer: Alberto Villari.
I am an Italian amateur malacologist .
Excuse for my bad English.
email@example.comVillari, A., 2006 (Jul 14) Rediscovery of Melanochlamys seurati from Sicily. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17100
This is a very interesting find. As soon as I saw the shell I knew it was a species of the aglajid genus Melanochlamys, and the only species known from the Mediterranean Melanochlamys seurati (Vayssière, 1926) which was originally described from the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. As far as I know it has never been found anywhere since the original description so your specimen is a valuable new record.