Maxacteon flammea
(Gmelin, 1791)

Superfamily: ACTEONOIDEA
Family: Acteonidae


Found throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific. In fine sand or sandy-mud, intertidally and subtidally.


Shell length: 17mm. Koumac, northern New Caledonia, October 1993. PHOTO: Bill Rudman.

This species seems to be variable in colour, with Maxacteon flammea being at one end of the colour range and Maxacteon fabreanus at the other.

If you compare this species with species of Pupa and species of Hydatina, it fits nicely between them in a number of characters. Its shell is thinner and more colourful than most species of Pupa and its body is becoming larger, relative to the size of the shell. The headshield is beginning to elaborate secondary tentacles, looking much more similar to Hydatina than Pupa.

• Gmelin, J.F., (1791). In: Linnaeus, C., Systema Naturae, Ed.13. 1(6): 3021-4120.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (December 18) Maxacteon flammea (Gmelin, 1791). [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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