Chelidonura livida

Image courtesy of Jim Black
Batanta Island, Raja Ampat, West Papua
Nikon D-300 in Subal Housing with Ikelite strobes.
Copyright 2012, Jim Black

Chelidonura livida Yonow, 1994

Originally described from the Red Sea, this species is now known to have a wide distribution in the Indian Ocean.

The body is black or dark brown in color, and is covered with bright blue spots. These spots vary greatly between individuals and locations, ranging from small to large irregular, solid spots to circles , or a combination of these.

This species is apparently quite common at times on shallow sand flats, and grows to 40mm long. Although sometimes a little difficult to see, species of Chelidonura have groups of sensory bristles along the front edge of the head which they use to "smell" their prey, which in this case are small flatworms. We believe the bristles sense chemicals in the mucus trail of the prey.

Like most aglajjids, C. livida lays a coil of eggs on the bottom, by twisting in a circle , coiling the eggs around its body. It then anchors the coil by burrowing into the substrate. Often times the discovery of the these coils will lead to the discovery of the adult.

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA
Jun., 2012

Jim Black on location in Thailand with friend

Jim is retired from US Airways after 27 years as a pilot..., flying Captain on an Airbus 330 Internationally.

Diving since 1970...with over 5200 dives logged. Shoots Nikon D-300 in Subal Housing with Ikelite strobes. Macro Mate on 105mm for supermacro.

Jim's photography has been featured in a number of books and publications including Helmut Debelius' Nudibranchs and Sea Snails of Gosliner, Behrens and Williams Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific. A photo of Jim petting a shark in "Sleeping Shark Caves" off Isla Mujeres Island, Mexico, taken by Amy Foster his significant other, recently appeared in Dave Behrens' Diving Guide to Cozumel, Cancun & The Riviera Maja.

Jim has been a solid supporter of the Slug Site since day one. His countless contributions put him near the top of the list of photographers who have greatly expanded our knowledge of sea slugs. There are a lot of kids in the formative stage of their education who are getting their first introduction to our sea slug friends via the great photographs Jim and other contributors have made to the site. My hat is off to Jim for making this presentation possible!

As an added note, Jim was one of the keynote speakers at the Pittsburgh Scubapalooza, held Saturday, 5/14 at the Pittsburgh Scuba Center, 818 Ann St., Homestead, Pa.

Send Jim email at

WEBMASTER'S NOTES : Another great submission by Jim Black who continues to astound us with his uncanny ability to find and photograph slug images most of us probably aren't going to see in this lifetime!

From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angle Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

Send Dave email at

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