Stars don't eat slugs

July 11, 2007
From: Jan Kocian

Another story from slug life on Whidbey Island. I was taking picture of Aeolidia papillosa when I saw a big starfish - Pycnopodia helianthoides - speeding down the piling in its usual arrogant manner. So I backed off and enjoyed the unfolding drama. When the star reached the slug, it stopped dead in the water, raising its arm and very gingerly probed the slug, it didn't look like it even touched. The slug completely ignored all the commotion behind it, waving arms and towering beast known as a voracious eater of almost everything.. Slugs are clearly not part of the indiscriminate diet of Pycnopodia helianthoides. I really enjoyed seeing the sea star slinking away sideways over much more inconvenient terrain. Another point for slugs !

Locality: Whidbey Island, Puget Sound, 10 feet, Washington, USA, Eastern Pacific Ocean, 07 February 2007, seawall pilings. Length: 45mm. Photographer: Jan Kocian.

Jan Kocian

Kocian, J., 2007 (Jul 11) Stars don't eat slugs. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Jan,
Your Aeolidia is certainly made of sterner stuff than Jackie's dorid [message #20125]

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (Jul 11). Comment on Stars don't eat slugs by Jan Kocian. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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