Big Sea slug from Western Australia

March 31, 2008
From: Suzy Galloway

Hi ,
I was walking along Safety Bay, Near Rockingham (Perth, Western Australia) and found on the beach a big sea slug. At first I thought it might have been whale blubber because it was covered in sand. I poked it with my sandal because I was scared of it. It kind of bounced back so I rolled it into the ocean again, But it was dead.

The slug would of been about 2 feet long ( 500 mm). I recognised it was a slug in the water because I could see it's eyes (the long bits) and it had a big foot. The colour was dark brown and when in the water a purple colour came out of it, like blood. It was wierd and I didn't even realise we had them here.

Locality: Safety Bay WA, On beach, Australia WA, Indian Ocean,  28 march 2008. Clear blue water but dead on beach. Length: 500 mm.

Sad to see it was dead.
Looked up on internet to see if I could find one and came across this site.
Suzy Galloway

Galloway, S., 2008 (Mar 31) Big Sea slug from Western Australia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Suzy,

This is a sea hare, the purple ink is a giveaway. It is almost certainly Aplysia gigantea, which is a large species found in Western Australia which often washes up like this in large numbers. If you are not familiar with this website go to the Aplysia gigantea Fact Sheet and read the information there and look at the messages attached at the bottom of the page. Quite a few of them report and discuss them washing up on Western Australian beaches.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Mar 31). Comment on Big Sea slug from Western Australia by Suzy Galloway. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Aplysia gigantea

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