Our first meeting with a sea slug

August 29, 2006
From: James Salama

Hi I'm 10years old and have a question about sea slugs.

Yesterday while we were walking along Corlette Beach we saw what we now know is a sea slug. It appeared to have washed in with the tide. We pushed him further out to sea he seemed to swim away. Today we have been looking on the internet to find out what it was we saw.

Thank you for having this site now we know what it was. We didn't have camera with us so no photos. It was brown coloured with black spots.

Locality: Corlette Beach, Corlette. Poert Stephens NSW, shoreline Low tide., NSW Australia, 25th August 2006, at the edge of the water. Length: approx 8 cm.

Could you tell me if sea slugs are usually seen close to the shore. My mum and dad had never seen one. We are wondering if we were just very lucky to have seen the sea slug.
James Salama


Salama, J., 2006 (Aug 29) Our first meeting with a sea slug. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17639

Dear James,
Since your sea slug was washed up, and swam when you put it back in the water, I guess you probably saw a Sea Hare, and one likely species in Port Stephens is Aplysia extraordinaria. In fact if you look on the Fact Sheet for that species, the photos are of animals from Port Stephens. If you go to the General Topics Index [in Menu at top left of page] you will find a list of Fact Sheets on Sea Hares. Sometimes they are very common in rock pools and sometimes they wash up in large numbers on sandy beaches. 

Since sea slugs live in water you don't usually find them washed up on beaches, but if you look in rock pools and under rocks you may be lucky to find some of the more brilliantly coloured nudibranch sea slugs. Be careful if you turn over rocks to put them back they way you found them so that all the plants and animals living on the underside of the rocks don't dry out. Port Stephens is a very interesting place for sea slugs and scuba divers have found a great variety of species living there, some of which are more common in tropical waters. If you type port stephens in the SEARCH box you will get a long list of messages about different kinds of sea slugs found in Port Stephens.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Aug 29). Comment on Our first meeting with a sea slug by James Salama. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17639

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