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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sea Things #34: Varicose Phyllidia

Sea Things is a regular feature on my blog where I profile a different sea creature. Look for it weekly, or something close to weekly.

The Varicose Phyllidia, or Phyllidia varicosa, is also sometimes called a "Scrambled Egg Nudibranch." It is a type of sea slug, or nudibranch, which Todd very much loves to find. They're pretty common in the Indo-Pacific, and we saw many of them while we were in Hawaii. They get to be 3 or 4 inches long, which is actually pretty big as nudibranchs go.

Like many nudibranchs, the Varicose Phyllidia secretes a toxic substance that apparently has a strong odor above the water, and will often kill other animals if it's brought into an aquarium. They're dangerous little guys (well, to fish and sea life, anyway), and their bright colors serve as a warning to other animals.

Is there a creature that you would like to see featured in Sea Things? If so, shoot me an email and if I can, I'll write about it. Photos on this post are courtesy of Todd Krebs.

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