Christmas Island opisthobranchs

Christmas Island, a Territory of Australia, is a small island in the Indian Ocean, at latitude 10° 30' South and longitude 105° 40' East. It is approximately 380 kilometres south of Java Head at the southern entrance to the Sunda Strait, Indonesia. The island has an area of 135 square kilometres. Its relative isolation and position at the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean, make it an interesting locality with both a mix of Indian Ocean and western Pacific species. [Note: As there is more than one Christmas Island in the world, it is best to refer to this island as Christmas Island, Indian Ocean].

During the 1980s, John Hicks, now Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, collected opisthobranchs for me, with the help of the Christmas Is. Divers Association, in particular Charlie Tong, John Burgess, Don Pascoe & Ian Mackie. Most of the opisthobranchs were colected at Flying Fish Cove on the northeast coast of the island, at depths between 3-20m, in a variety of habitats - under dead coral slabs, on living coral, sandy patches, and on fouling organisms on anchor chains. Some intertidal collecting in the Cove was done at Ethel and Lily Beaches.

Photos and records of most of the material collected is being gradually added to the Forum. To obtain a list of the species recorded on the Forum just use the SEARCH facility, and search for Christmas Island, Indian Ocean.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2002 (February 15) Christmas Island opisthobranchs. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from