Photo 383, (c) Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Ken-ichi Ueda

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Attribution © Ken-ichi Ueda
Cc by nc small some rights reserved
Uploaded by kueda kueda
Source Flickr
Original http://www.flickr.com/photos/18024068@N00/2510255467
Associated observations

Photos / Sounds

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What

Australian Blue Dragon Nudibranch Pteraeolidia ianthina

Observer

kueda

Date

May 19, 2008 05:43 PM HST

Description

I didn't even know there were any Pteraeolidia ianthina outside of Australia, so you can imagine how excited I was when Heather pointed out this beauty. Actually, this was the second we saw, but the first was during the first dive, when I didn't bring my camera so I could concentrate on remembering how to dive.

Amazingly, these are one of several nudibranch species that sequester photosynthetic dinoflagellates living in symbiosis with their hydroid prey, protecting them as they feed the slug sweet, sweet sun sugar. I mean, symbiosis is cool, but stealing symbionts? Unbeatable.

Totally, totally awesome slug.

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