Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ringed Sap-Sucking Slug (Plakobranchus ocellatus)....

Great name for an unusual little critter. I've only seen these a few times over the years. I posted one back in May or so of last year I saw in Maui, but these are slightly better pictures.

I found this one on a shore dive Pat and I did with friends off Kukio up north earlier this year. Interestingly enough, we went over a sandy area that sort of reminded me of areas I've seen them before and I thought "this might be a likely spot to find one". After a few minutes of looking I gave up and went over the reef (where I've never seen one) and four or five minutes later ran across this guy.




kb said...

interestingly, this is one of the few (perhaps only?) animal that uses photosynthesis to generate energy!

The term "sap-sucking" comes from the fact that it sucks the chlorophyll from the algae / plants underwater, stores it in its body, then filters CO2 (using sunlight) to produce sugars.

Steve said...

That's cool. I didn't realize they were one of the photosynthetic slugs. There's actually a bunch of them, I heard about them first years ago back when I kept aquariums. Here's a link