Sea Slugs in general

September 11, 2002
From: Rachel Wierenga

Dear whomever
I am doing a project on sea slugs and i need to ask you a few questions:

• 1. What sort of skeletal system does a sea slug have? (i mean how does it support itself?)
• 2. do you have any information about the food chain to do with sea slugs? i.e, what eats the sea slug or what eats what sea slugs do?
• 3. are sea slugs predators? because i read somewhere that they eat jelly fish. could you please clear this up for me as i am unsure.

thank you kindly. i will appreciate any information you are able to give me. i look forward to hearing you reply.

Rachel Wierenga

Wierenga, R., 2002 (Sep 11) Sea Slugs in general. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Rachel,
I guess you are doing a school project. If you go to the GENERAL TOPICS INDEX you will find links to quite a lot of general information on sea slugs.

I can give you very brief answers to your 3 questions but have a look at the general pages for more detailed information.

Concerning their skeleton - slugs, like all molluscs, dont have an internal skeleton and although some books suggest that their shell - if they have one - is an external skeleton (exoskeleton) its main function is defence rather than body support. Molluscs rely to a large extent on the fluids in their body to keep their shape and to exyend their gills and tentacles. Their body contains large blood-filled cavities and by using specially arranged muscles in their body wall they are able to change shape to meet changing needs. We call this sort of 'skeleton' a Hydrostatic Skeleton after 'hydro' which is the Ancient Greek word for water.

What do slugs eat? There are many different sorts of sea slugs, and if you look at some of the earlier message on this topic you will see that they range form bacteria feeders through herbivores, to specialised carnivores. If you look at the Solar powered Sea Slug page you will see that some, with a lttle help from plants, can photosynthesise -so basically they fit at all levels of the food chain.

Yes and some do feed on animals quite similar to 'jellyfish'. Have a look at the page on Glaucus.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Sep 11). Comment on Sea Slugs in general by Rachel Wierenga. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


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