I desire, with all of my heart, to see a mollusc I have never seen before
The Spanish dancer (Hexabranchus sanguineus) is a large nudibranch that inhabits tropical and subtropical waters in the Indo-Pacific region. Unlike most nudibranchs, it is capable of free-swimming, using undulations of the wide, flattened edges of its mantle to propel itself through the water. The whirling motion as it swims is reminiscent of the skirt movements of a flamenco dancer, hence its common name.
I don’t do much sculpture anymore because I usually have a list of commissions to get done that take up all my time. This was actually sculpted in 2010 but I never got around to glazing it, until now! When I originally sculpted it I had access to a glaze that, when combined with this clay body, came out perfect banana slug olive yellow, but our studio ditched it right after this came out of the bisque because it contained cadmium. Augh! So it’s just been sitting on my shelf.
But this term I decided to put it in the salt kiln, and I can’t be more happy with how it came out! It was not glazed prior to being fired; that lovely brown orange peel texture is all salt that vaporized in the kiln’s high temperature and reacted with the silica in the clay to form a glaze.
This slug now lives in one of my bioactive planted vivariums.
This is a soft-bodied, marine gastropod known as the Nudibranch, which includes about 2,300 different species. They live in seas worldwide and are between 4 and 600 mm. Nudibranchs are carnivorous and feed on anemones, tunicates, sponges, and sometimes other nudibranchs. They can release acidic mucous from their skin as one of their defense mechanisms.
Orange Jorunna Parva by cherylgoh This is a Jorunna parva, a species of sea slug, a dorid nudibranch, a shell-less marine gastropod mollusc in the family Discodorididae. The resemblance of Jorunna parva’s rhinophores to bunny ears and its other features facilitated a surge in popularity on Twitter throughout Japan in 2015.
They look furry but what you are looking at is not fur. They are groups of small rods known as caryophyllidia, which cover its back. They’re arranged around small black knobs that give it a spotted look. Most experts believe these organs play sensory roles.
Predators stay away from these cute little slugs because they are incredibly toxic. The sea bunny slug belongs to a group of sea slugs called dorid nudibranchs, which steal toxic defenses from its food. Sea bunny slugs will often eat sponges, which contain toxins; some of these toxins are used in cancer treatments. Sea slugs also have the ability to steal the stingers out of jellyfish and use them against predators.
A beautiful Elysia expansa, a species of opisthobranch (closely related to nudibranchs), also known as a sap-sucking sea slug. These group of sea slugs will store chloroplasts from their food sources for later use and digestion. By piercing the algae cells, they suck in the chloroplasts from the algae and are able keep them intact. By doing so, the chloroplasts will still photosynthesise, producing sugars as an extra food source for the host sea slug. These chloroplasts also give the animal it’s green colour.
This individual spread out while taking photos, showing just how much surface area the individual can form to maximise how much sunshine it could catch for the chloroplasts to react to.
Plastic furniture is not a great choice for hamsters, but it’s perfect for slugs. It’s easy to clean and impervious to the high humidity! These would also be great for other invertebrates like roaches.
As long as your parameters are correct and materials used are safe for the animal in question, enclosures don’t have to be “naturalistic”, and enrichment doesn’t have to look like the outdoors to be effective!
(I’ll be adding some more small plastic plants soon.)
My little pride and joy – the pleiospilos nelii plants, that I grew from seed. They actually didn’t take very long to grow. I have three such planters in my kitchen window, and they are seeming to do well there.
This adorable Fleshy Doriopsilla (Doriopsilla carneola) was amazing to watch crawling over the edge of a sponge and plant encrusted old tyre. The bright orange really stood out from the purples and reds around him.
The Elysia chlorotica, more commonly known as the Eastern Emerald Elysia, is a species of green sea slug that is found along the east coast of the United States. The juvenile sea slugs feed on intertidal algae but instead of digesting the entire cell contents, it retains only the algal chloroplasts by storing them in their extensive digestive system. Over time, these chloroplasts are incorporated into the slug’s cells and the slug is able to undergo photosynthesis as a means of obtaining energy.