Velvet Sea Slug - Chelidonura varians Taxonomy: Velvet Sea Slug belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Mollusca, Class Gastropoda, Family Aglajidae, Genus Chelidonura and Species varians.
Scientific names: The scientific name of Velvet Sea Slug is Chelidonura varians.
Other common names: Velvet Sea Slug is also commonly called as Blue Doris, Blue Velvet Nudibranch and Head Shield Sea Slug.
Origin or natural range: Chelidonura varians is found in the Indo-Pacific region.
Size: Velvet Sea Slug may grow up to a size of three inches.
Color: Chelidonura varians is black in color with blue stripes.
Compatibility: Velvet Sea Slug is non-aggressive towards the other marine aquarium members.
Habit & Habitat:
- Chelidonura varians is found on the shallow bottoms of sand, in lagoon or on bay.
- Velvet Sea Slug is poisonous in nature and secretes venomous Hydrozoan Nematocysts.
- Chelidonura varians is found under decaying wood and in vegetation.
- Velvet Sea Slug is a nudibranch, a marine snail that does not have shell.
- The body of Chelidonura varians is black in color with blue color thinly outlining the key body contours such as body edge and the middle of body.
- The shape of head of Velvet Sea Slug is laterally expanded and resembles to that of a hammer.
- The tail of Chelidonura varians is long and pointed.
Growth enabling environment in your marine aquarium:
- Velvet Sea Slug reproduces sexually wherein two slugs come together for spawning.
- Chelidonura varians lays eggs in a cocoon which surrounds the slug initially.
- After some time, Velvet Sea Slug leaves the eggs cocoon fixed in sea bed for maturity.
- Larvae are released once the eggs are ripe.
Habit & habitat:
- Temperature of water: Seventy-two to seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit.
- Specific gravity of water: 1.023 to 1.025.
- pH of water: 8.10 to 8.40.
- Illumination: Velvet Sea Slug requires light in the marine aquarium it inhabits.
Feeding & Nutrition:
- To host Chelidonura varians, you should have a reef type marine aquarium with a minimum water capacity of ten gallons.
- You should acclimate Velvet Sea Slug to your marine aquarium's environment through Drip Method.
- Chelidonura varians grows to a length of around 2.75 inches in your reef tank.
- Velvet Sea Slug has a life of three months.
- Chelidonura varians is Carnivorous in feeding habit and eats flatworms, called planaria.
- Velvet Sea Slug consumes flatworms by sucking them up through a tube like proboscis.
Chelidonura varians spawns regularly if there are more than one specimens of Velvet Sea Slug present in your marine aquarium. The survival of sensitive larvae in captive environment is, however, difficult.Benefits:
Flatworms are a threat for a marine aquarium as they grow rapidly both in number and in size while being harmful. The only way to control these worms is chemicals which in turn will be harmful for the marine aquarium members. Chelidonura varians that eats flatworms is the most effective method to keep your reef tank free of these worms without any implications.Care:
- Chelidonura varians is very difficult to maintain owing to its poisonous nature. Therefore, only expert aquarists should maintain and handle it.
- Velvet Sea Slug may die in your marine aquarium because of chemical poisoning, fluctuations in the environmental conditions and under-nourishment.
- A drastic change in the water quality may be detrimental to the health of Chelidonura varians.
- Velvet Sea Slug may be harmed by pump intakes, drains and power heads. Therefore, cover these aquarium systems to prevent the slug from getting sucked in and getting killed or getting damaged severely.
- High levels of Nitrates and Copper in your marine aquarium may prove lethal to Chelidonura varians therein.