Starfish Abaco (Char Albury).JPGChar Albury




Examples by Rhonda Pearce


Find out all you can possibly need to know about these extraordinary sea slugs, with a video HERE

 Lettuce Sea Slug ©Melinda Riger @ Grand Bahama Scuba copy Lettuce Sea Slug ©Melinda Riger @ GB Scuba copyElysia_crispata_(Lettuce_Sea_Slug_pair) Nick Hobgood Lettuce_Sea_Slug_LASZLO ILYES Lettuce Sea Slug ©Melinda Riger @ G B Scuba copy


Sea Hare (Bahama Blue FB)

Sea Hare (Bahama Blue FB)

Sea Hare, Bahamas (π Tammy Swart)

Sea Hare (Tammy Swart)

Sea Hare, Abaco (Nina Henry)

Sea Hare, Abaco (Nina Henry)

Sea Hare - Adam Rees / Scuba Works

Sea Hare – Adam Rees / Scuba Works

Sea Hare (Bimini Biological Stn via Abaco Scientist)

Sea Hare (Bimini Biological Stn via Abaco Scientist)

Sea Hare, Abaco Bahamas (Melissa Maura)

Sea Hare, Abaco Bahamas (Melissa Maura)

A recent query by Bahamas Sport Fishing Network about the ID of this creature brought a variety of responses. Sea Hare; Sea Cow; Sea Snail; Sea Cat. Technically it is a Spotted Sea Hare (Aplysia dactylomena).

Sea Hare, Abaco

Sea Hare, Abaco

Credits: Tammy Swart, Nina Henry, Bahamas Ocean Safaris; Susan A Levine (who gave the official correct ID)

Sea Hare squirting, Sandy Point, Abaco (Jack Bowers)Sea Hare squirting, Sandy Point, Abaco (Jack Bowers)


Bimini Marine Protected Area Campaign via Click 242 Nature

SEA HARE Bimini Marine Protected Area Campaign via Click 242 Nature

SEA HARES (aka SLUGS) Aplysia dactylomela (1)

I came across this photograph online when I was looking for something else completely. As you do. I suspected some kind of sea slug which, on investigation, was right. Except that from early times these creatures have prefererred to be called Sea Hares – which is clearly more polite. The one below was found by Patti Gonsalves from CRUISE ABACO (thanks for use permission, Patti). I think I’d choose gloves to handle it too.

I had intended to include some self-taught material about these weird molluscs until I found what must be the very last word in exhaustive slug-related information at the fascinating SEA SLUG FORUM [from the Australian Museum]. It is well-worth a visit, even if you are not a slug fan, if only to admire its breadth and the model way a scientific site can be presented in an accessible way for the layman. Apart from the sea hares, I was taken with the titles of a number of articles, including Solar-powered sea slugsNudibranch egg masses – the direction they spiral, and (for those with Delphi Club links) Mantle flapping. And there’s plenty about land slugs too for those interested. And thus, by a hare’s breadth, you are spared my own ramblings… Photo credit ©Patti Gonsalves

To learn about Sea Hares and their defences against predators, click the link to The Abaco Scientist HERE 



Kasia, a vital contributor to this blog, has supplied a number of images taken at low tide in the Casuarina Point / Cherokee Sound area on Abaco, including these excellent starfish. I’m posting them right away because starfish haven’t so far featured at all in this enterprise. Whenever I have seen them from a skiff I have been otherwise (and mostly ineffectually) engaged at the sharp end of the boat… 

All images ©Kasia (c/o rollingharbour) 



Photo: Makenzie White, taken near Green Turtle Cay
Some cool Sea Star Facts 
  • Sea Stars have tube feet that allow them to crawl along the sea bed
  • There are thousands of Sea Star species
  • Sea Stars can regenerate lost limbs
  • Sea stars have eyes! At the end of each limb, sea stars have an eye that allow them to sense light and dark

NEW IMAGES contributed by Brigitte Carey of Tilloo Cay 


  • Other names include Cushioned Star and Red Cushion Sea Star
  • Its  invertebrate body is covered by a hard shell with raised knobbly spines 
  • The color of adults may be brown, orange, red, or yellow. Juveniles are mottled green (for camouflage in seagrass beds) 
  • Found in calm shallow waters (depths 1m – 37m), most commonly on sandy bottoms. Juveniles are usually found in seagrass beds
  • Individuals can grow to 50 cm / 20″ diameter
  • Adults live in dense aggregations called ‘fronts’ of 200 to 4000 individuals
  • When food is scarce they can reabsorb body tissue to prevent weight loss / size decrease
  • They are omnivores, feeding on micro organisms, urchins, sea cucumbers, small invertebrates, crab larvae, and sponges 
  • They use their ‘arms’ to rake piles of sediment and then evert the stomach, enveloping the food in its folds (don’t try this at home).
  • The cushioned star is over-harvested for souvenirs and the aquarium trade, and is no longer common in areas of high human population
Sources: various (not Wiki except for chart). You are all stars. Sea stars, in fact


Mangrove Jellyfish (Bahama Blue FB)

Mangrove Jellyfish (Bahama Blue FB)

cassiopeia-fbSource: FB

 JELLY VIDEO on Vine by Bahama Blue (π Dr Elizabeth Stoner) HERE

Upside-sown Mangrove Jellyfish ©Grand Bahama Scuba

You can find out plenty more about these remarkable creatures HERE

Ever seen a jellyfish upside down? And photographed it? Here’s one at Tilloo Cay from contributor Brigitte Carey, who says these ones are definitely to be avoided – they’re venomous and they hurt… I don’t know what exact sort it is – I’m outta here!

STOP PRESS these are MANGROVE JELLYFISH, and I have now posted about them and their little ways… CLICK HERE

4 thoughts on “STARFISH, SEA HARES etc

    • That’s interesting: I’d rather assumed it was a (sub-)tropical species thing, but I quite see that perhaps most, or all, sea slugs have the capability to squirt ink as a defence mechanism. Was your photo in Dorset I wonder? RH


      • I don’t know much about sea slugs so I cannot tell if they all squirt “ink” but the animal I was thinking about was in a pool on the Worms Head Causeway in Gower. At the time I could just see a soft bodied organism with all this “blood” coming out of it and couldn’t think what it was. I have a photo somewhere. I’ll have to look it out.


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