Often mistaken for leafy seaweed, this slug is seen on all our shores.
However, it appears to be seasonal. Sometimes seen in large numbers,
at other times, none is to be seen.
Features: 4-6cm. Body long with
a pair of very large 'wings' (called parapodia). The overall body
colour of the slug may be shades of green, yellow or even white. It
is believed that the colour depends on how much and what seaweed is
in the animal's digestive system. But all have a black margin on the
edge of the parapodia, with an orange or yellow margin next to the
black. There is a pair of long thick tentacles with tips in the same
colour banding as the body edge. The body may have black spots. It
may also have white spots, which are glands that secrete a white substance
that may repel predators. The parapodia are often held in ruffles
so that the animal resembles seaweed.
What does it eat? This slug is
believed to eat the Hairy
green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.) Indeed, leaf slugs are commonly
seen there is a bloom of this green feathery seaweed on the shores.
See details in the Family Elysiidae for
more about how the slug eats and uses the seaweed's chloroplasts.
St. John's Island, Jun 07
Pulau Sekudu, Apr 06
Sentosa, Jan 05
Sentosa, Apr 04
St. John's Island, May 05
The white bits are the reproductive organs.
Also seen among Sargassum seaweeds.
St John's Island, Oct 11
Sentosa, Apr 04
leaf slugs on Singapore shores
- Tan Siong
Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary
Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore (pdf), Raffles
Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
Helmut, 2001. Nudibranchs
and Sea Snails: Indo-Pacific Field Guide
IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 321 pp.
- Wells, Fred
E. and Clayton W. Bryce. 2000. Slugs
of Western Australia: A guide to the species from the Indian to
West Pacific Oceans.
Western Australian Museum. 184 pp.
Neville. 2001. 1001
Nudibranchs: Catalogue of Indo-Pacific Sea Slugs. Neville
Coleman’s Underwater Geographic Pty Ltd, Australia.144pp.
- Humann, Paul
and Ned Deloach. 2010. Reef
Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications.
- Kuiter, Rudie
H and Helmut Debelius. 2009. World
Atlas of Marine Fauna
. IKAN-Unterwasserachiv. 723pp.
Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral
Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawai’I
exclusive of the vertebrates
Sea Challengers. 314pp.