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June 8, 2013
This strange sea creature is the Glaucus Atlanticus also known as the blue angel, blue dragon and blue sea slug is a marine gastropod mollusk. This tiny animal species is quite the predator.
You will find this colorful family member of sea slugs in temperate and tropical waters. Regions include the East and South coast of South Africa, European waters, off the East coast of Australia and Mozambique.
Quite tiny, the species normal size is up to 3cm, but it does feed on larger prey like the venomous Portuguese man of war consuming the organism in its entirety. The blue angel is immune to the man of wars venom, collecting it for its own use, using a much more concentrated venom, its sting is more powerful and deadly than the man o war.
The poison is stored inside the finger like structures sticking out of its body known as cerata, this is just one of its defense mechanisms. The beautiful blue underside of the blue angel acts as a camouflage from air born predators as it floats upside down on the surface of the water.
Its back is grayish in color and faces downward, camouflaging it from predators looking up from below the water. The Blue angel is a hermaphrodite allowing both slugs to produce egg strings after mating which they lay on driftwood, or the skeletons of their victims.
There is so much more to learn about this intriguing creature, but we do know that While they are beautiful to behold, they are dangerous to actually hold.
If you have a new animal species or a wildlife story you think I'd enjoy go ahead share it with me