Information on zooxanthellae

October 11, 2000
From: Jack Crumlin

Dear sir,

My name is Jack Crumlin. I am 6 and 3/4 and live in Sydney, Australia.

I would like to know about something called a zooxanthellae, which I have heard about at school. In particular, could you let me know where I can get a picture.

We are currently learning about sea creatures and this would help me with my project.

Many thanks

Crumlin, J., 2000 (Oct 11) Information on zooxanthellae. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Jack,
Zooxanthellae are amazing little plants that live in animals. They only live where they can still get enough sunlight, because like all plants they need to photosynthesise, to make the nutrients they need to stay alive and grow. There are many nudibranch sea slugs which have zooxanthellae.

I have prepared three pages on zooxanthellae for you with photos. Because these plants are so small we can only photograph them with an electron microscope. In some of the photos you will see a measuring scale bar which measures in microns not millimeters. There are a thousand microns in a millimeter.

If you click on any word that is underlined you will move to a page on that subject.
Have a look at the following pages:
Zooxanthellae - what are they?
Zooxanthellae - in Cnidarians
Zooxanthellae - in nudibranchs
Zooxanthellae - references
Solar Powered Sea Slugs

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Oct 11). Comment on Information on zooxanthellae by Jack Crumlin. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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