Chelidonura hirundinina

Chelidonura ‘hirundinina’ (Quoy & Gaimard, 1833)

Chelidonura 'hirundinina' @ Canarias, Spain by Mario Matute by Mario Matute

Taxonomy
 

Superdomain

Biota  

 

Kingdom

Animalia  

 

Phylum

Mollusca  

 

Class

Gastropoda  

 

Subclass

Heterobranchia  

 

Infraclass

Euthyneura  

 

Subterclass

Tectipleura  

 

Order

Cephalaspidea  

 

Superfamily

Philinoidea  

 

Family

Aglajidae  

 

Genus

Chelidonura  

 

Species

Chelidonura hirundinina  (Quoy & Gaimard, 1833)

 
 Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 420528).
Taxonomic note: Chelidonura hirundinina was described based on specimens collected in Fouquets, on the island of Mauritius, in the Indo-Pacific region. There is a very similar species in the Western Atlantic that has also been called C. ‘hirundinina’ (we use the notation by Zamora-Silva & Malaquias (2018)), which is the one we show here. In early times, differences in coloration pattern were considered sufficient to classify them as different species. The molecular analysis carried out by Zamora-Silva & Malaquias (2018) indicate that, although they are genetically similar, they form two different groups.

Clasificación genética Chelidonura hirundinina by Zamora-Silva & Malaquias (2018)

Synonyms

  • Bulla hirundinina Quoy & Gaimard, 1833 (original)
  • Chelidonura adamsi Angas, 1867
  • Chelidonura philinopsis Eliot, 1903
  • Hirundinella hirundinina Gray, 1847

Description
This cephalaspidean is small in size, the body can reach about 4 cm in length, generally elongated in shape and widening at the height of the head. The dominant color of this species is black with more or less thick orange and blue lines, which can even be reduced to a series of points. A blue, white, or yellow “T”-shaped marking on the front of the head helps distinguish this species from other Chelidonura. The specimens from the Western Atlantic (called C. ‘hirundinina’) are differentiated from the Indo-Pacific species because the body of the animal is orange with blue lines bordered by black, sometimes with a white crescent-shaped spot bordered by black located on the rear of the back, right before the tail. It has a thin internal calcareous shell (under the mantle) in the back of the body that measures approximately 2 mm in diameter and has well-marked growth striae. It has a forked tail similar to a swallow tail (a  trait that gives the genus its name) but with the left tail more developed than the right. Like all Aglajidae, the sides of the body are widened, forming parapodia that appear folded covering the back of the animal. On the front of the head, the mouth is surrounded by sensory bristles, more prominent than in other Aglajidae species. It lacks a radula but has a very rigid oral muscular bulb that acts as a suction pump.

Biology
It is a diurnal species. Its diet was a mystery until recently (1998) but now it is known that it feeds on certain species of flatworms, which it detects by the trail of mucus they leave when moving and, when it comes into contact with its prey, it swiftly absorbs it. It can feed on other cephalaspideans. An interesting publication by Anne DuPont in Sea Slug Forum shows two specimens reproducing on the sand in an encounter that lasted about 9 minutes. If it feels threatened it can secrete an ichthyotoxic yellow substance.

Etymology

  • Chelidonura: from Greek [chelidon] = swallow and [oura] = tail, due to its characteristic tail.
  • Hirundinina: from Latin [hirundo] = swallow.

Distribution
Chelidonura hirundinina was described based on specimens collected in Fouquets, on the island of Mauritius; it is found in the tropical areas of the Indo-Pacific region (including the islands of Mayotte, Reunion and New Caledonia). There is a very similar species in the Western Atlantic (Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, etc.) that has also been called C. ‘hirundinina’ (we use the notation by Zamora-Silva & Malaquias (2018)), which It is the one we show here. The molecular analysis carried out by Zamora-Silva & Malaquias (2018) indicate that, although they are genetically similar, they form two different groups. In 2024 the presence of C. ‘hirundinina’ has been detected in the Canary Islands.

Known georeferenced records of the species: Chelidonura hirundinina
Sources:
: OBIS
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
: GBIF.ORG
: OPK
: VIMAR
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions

Abundance

    Western Mediterranean: ☆☆☆☆☆
    Eastern Mediterranean: ☆☆☆☆☆
    Atlantic Ocean: ★☆☆☆☆
Month

This chart displays the monthly observation probability for Chelidonura hirundinina based on our own records.

More pictures

Bibliography

    Caballer M, Ortea J, Rivero N, et al. 2015. The opisthobranch gastropods (Mollusca: Heterobranchia) from Venezuela: an annotated and illustrated inventory of species. Zootaxa 4034 (2): 201–256.
    Camacho-García YE, Ornelas-Gatdula E, Gosliner TM, et al. 2014. Phylogeny of the family Aglajidae (Pilsbry, 1895) (Heterobranchia: Cephalaspidea) inferred from mtDNA and nDNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 113–126.
    De la Cruz-Francisco V, Ortigosa D, González González M. 2017. Primeros registros de babosas marinas (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) del Sistema Arrecifal Tuxpan, México, con ampliaciones de ámbito de distribución. Biodiversity and Natural History (2017) Vol. 3, No. 1, 15-23.
    Frank, B. et al. 1998 2014. Chelidonura hirundinina accessed through: JaxShells.org on 2014-12-14. Available from http://www.jaxshells.org/anne1695.htm.
    Imamoto J. 2001 2014. Chelidonura hirundinina accessed through: Umiushi.info on 2014-12-14. Available from http://www.umiushi.info/kanri/photo_sql_eng.php?act=PSP&gakumei1=Chelidonura&gakumei2=hirundinina&location_code=0000#.
    Ortea J, Espinosa J, Caballer M, et al. 2012. Initial inventory of the seaslugs (Opisthobranchia and Sacoglossa) from the expedition Karubentos, held in May 2012 in Guadeloupe (Lesser Antilles, Caribbean Sea). Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias 24: 153-182.
    Oskars TR, Bouchet P, Malaquias MAE. 2015. A new phylogeny of the Cephalaspidea (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia)based on expanded taxon sampling and gene markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 89 (2015) 130–150. Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2015.04.011.
    Rudman W.B. et al. 1998 2010. Chelidonura hirundinina accessed through: Sea Slug Forum on 2014-12-14. Available from http://seaslugforum.net/showall/chelhiru.
    Valdés A, Hamann J, Behrens DW, et al. 2006. Caribbean sea slugs: a field guide to the opisthobranch mollusks from the tropical northwestern Atlantic. Washington: Sea Challengers Natural History Books. 289 pp.
    Yonow N. 2012. Opisthobranchs from the western Indian Ocean, with descriptions of two new species and ten new records (Mollusca, Gastropoda). ZooKeys. 197:1–129. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.197.1728.
    Zamora-Silva A, Malaquias MAE. 2018. Molecular phylogeny of the Aglajidae head-shield sea slugs (Heterobranchia: Cephalaspidea): new evolutionary lineages revealed and proposal of a new classification. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.(183):1–51. https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx064.

    Bibliography based on the works by Steve Long, 2006. Bibliography of Opisthobranchia 1554-2000 and Gary McDonald, 2009. Bibliographia Nudibranchia, with later updates from other resources.

Further reading

Cite this article as:

Pontes, Miquel (2023) "Chelidonura hirundinina" in OPK-Opistobranquis. Published: 31/03/2024. Accessed: 19/04/2024. Available at (https://opistobranquis.info/en/?p=43470)

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