Aoelid sea slugs.... awesome colours as they wave in the 'wind'.

(Aeolid means windy in Greek.)

Awesome colours, Amazing lifestyles.

Aeolids Sea Slugs feed on Hydroids. Some have learned to store stinging cells in the tips of their cerrata. Just below the tips, they have tiny cells of algae which can photosynthesise glucose from sunlight, Carbon dioxide and water. Like most sea slugs, they live for weeks to months.

Phyllodesmium can shed cerrrata to avoid predation. When they hide inside a colony of soft coral, they are so well camouflaged that you can hardly see them.

 

 

Purple Dragon Aeolid sea slug
Purple Dragons, Pteraeolid ianthina have two rows of cerrata in lines down the length of its mantle. The cerrata assist in obtaining oxygen. They are filled with single celled algae which make food from sunshine for the sea slug. The Red Lined Flabellina from Port Stephens. You can see the orange tips on their cerrata. This is where they store the stinging cells of the soft corals which they eat. The darker red band is filled with algae.
cuthona Phyllodesmium sea slug
The beautiful Fijian Cuthona siboga feeds on Hydroids. Phyllodesmium feeds on Telesto Soft corals.
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