Slugging the seas for new life form

2014-08-22 00:00

EARLIER this month, two members of the KwaZulu-Natal’s Museum’s Malacology division in Pietermaritzburg, discovered a rare species of sea slug on the South Coast.

Linda Davis and Dai Herbert were part of a team that headed to Pennington and Scottsburgh on the South Coast to map the whereabouts of sea slugs.

In taking advantage of the recent supermoon and spring tides, the team investigated rock pools at low tide in search of the creatures.

This initiative was part of a national project called ‘Sea Slug Atlas’ aiming to map and document the habitats and diversity of the creatures along the South African coast.

One of the most interesting finds on the expedition was a specimen of ‘Baeolidia Moebii’ Davis found.

This species has not been previously recorded on South African shores and is a breakthrough for the project. Herbert, who has already submitted more than 50 observations, was contacted to be a part of the team because of his expertise with molluscs.

“I didn’t know what it was at first. It seems to be a rare species with very few recorded sightings,” Herbert said.

The species was first discovered in 1888 and is found in tropical and sub-tropical waters.


Malacology is the branch of invertebrate zoology that deals with the study of the Mollusca (molluscs).

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