Re: Sargassum sea slug

November 26, 1998
From: Jim Needham

On 18 Oct 98, I collected some critters identified by both Dr. Craig Bingman and Dr. Kerry Clark. Dr. Clark,, is at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. The Id is Scyllea pelagica. e-mail from Dr. Clark as follows:

"Scyllea pelagica, dendronotacean nudibranch, feeds on hydroids on pelagic Sargassum. Has a planktonic larval stage, lays long coiled stringlike egg mass with about 50 eggs per capsule. Common on stranded Sargassum this time of year."

The seaweed was being washed ashore at the time of collection, 18 Oct 98. Location was about 18 miles south of Daytona Beach, Florida, USA.

Look at for some pix of these guys. [NOTE: url no longer operational - Aug 1999] It is about 20 mm long. Hope this info is of some use. I don't have much more info, but feel free to contact me as I too am intrested in these critters. The ones I collected lived about a month in my system. But as the Sargassum died off, the critters also did. About the only "interesting" behavior I noted was two of them side by side intertwining their necks. They were NOT in the mating position of "nose to tail" if this is this species position ?? .

Jim Needham


Needham, J., 1998 (Nov 26) Re: Sargassum sea slug. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Thanks Jim. Although obviously not uncommon in their natural habitat, they are rarely, if ever, seen alive by most of us. Can I use some of the photos please? ... Bill Rudman


Scyllaea pelagica

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