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During a recent field trip with our Florida Master Naturalist Class our trawl net brought up a critter that I don't think I've encountered before. It is called a warty dorid (a variety of nudibranch, or sea slug) and stretched out it measured about 3 inches in length. New critters = good times for Dave, especially when I get to photograph and do some research about things I haven't seen before.

During my research I learned this animal is a sponge-eating sea slug, thus we can't keep it in captivity because we can't keep sponges alive in our aquarium to feed to it. The nudibranch laid eggs overnight in the jar that it was in so I photographed some of them too. The convoluted egg ribbon was probably more than a foot long and this is just a one inch section of it. It looks like the eggs are clumped in groups of three. Amazing detail in nature!

After its photo session it was released by Moe and Greg on their way to Keewaydin Island.

Learn more about other mollusks in the Reserve.

graffDave Graff
Education Specialist

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