Identification of Alaskan Sea Slug

July 1, 2000
From: George Benson

Dear Experts,

While on vacation and staying at the cabin at Steamer Bay on Etolin Island in South East Alaska, the area West of British Columbia. My wife and I observed an unusual creature. It was translucent, 2 to 5 inches in length,1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. It was basically ovoid with something that looked a bit like a snail foot extending down from the bottom of the ovoid shape. It had several clear gelatinous fin-like projections extending from its body. It floated a few inched under the water, close to the shore along with the jelly fish and flexed back and forth in the middle perhaps once a second. About half were motionless. The seabottom varies from grassy to rocky. Nobody in the area seems to know what they are. I thought they moved like Sea Slugs that I have seen on TV. It looked slighty like Melibe leonina only it was totally clear, the fin-like structures were smaller and it didn't have a bell shaped object on either extremity. My wife was fascinated by the creatures and it would make her day or week if we could find out what they are.
George Benson

Benson, G., 2000 (Jul 1) Identification of Alaskan Sea Slug. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear George,
It doesn't sound too much like a sea slug to me, but hopefully someone with local knowledge may recognise it,
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.



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