Woah, check this out! A mind-blowing sea slug nicknamed the ‘Spanish dancer,’ is making waves off the coast of Western Australia! Forget dancing humans – this sea slug puts on a show like no other!
Known as the Hexabranchus sanguineus in science talk, this creature is drop-dead gorgeous with its fiery red and orange hues, resembling a flamenco dancer’s skirt. A picture that – a sea slug that dances better than any human!
This week, a jaw-dropping photo of the Hexabranchus sanguineus, also called the blood-colored six-gills, went viral on Facebook, and it left everyone spellbound. Some lucky souls even shared their own mind-blowing snapshots of this marine mollusk from the same spot over the years. Can you say ‘amazing’?
The Spanish dancer is not lightweight either! It’s no tiny garden snail – it’s a large droid nudibranch, with a soft and flat body, growing up to a whopping 90cm! Normally, they measure around 20 to 30cm, but still, that’s one impressive sea creature!
Let’s get technical for a moment. The Hexabranchus sanguineus sports a pair of retractable rhinophores on its anterior dorsal portion and six contractile gills at the back, doing their own thing independently. It’s got a pair of oral tentacles with a fin-flexible membrane sporting some badass digital lobes.
When this flamenco superstar is in chill mode, its mantle’s edges curl upwards, creating a cool peripheral blister. But if it feels threatened, it’s like a superhero unleashing its powers – it unfolds its edges and swims away from the danger with contractions and undulations of its body. Boom! That’s where the name ‘Spanish dancer’ comes from – for real!
This showstopper is no introvert – you can find it rocking its moves throughout the Indo-Pacific, hanging out around Australia, Japan, Hawaii, and even parts of the east coast of Africa. It’s all about that rock and coral reef life!
So, the next time you’re near Coral Bay, about 1200km north of Perth, keep your eyes peeled for this mesmerizing sea slug. You won’t want to miss a chance to witness nature’s flamenco master in action!
P.S. Nature is truly awesome – and this Spanish dancer is here to prove it! Summer just got a whole lot cooler, my friends. Stay wild! 🌊🔥