What do blue dragon sea slugs eat?

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By Jan Reisen

What does a blue dragon slug eat?

While there are many curious things about the blue dragon, perhaps the most curious is what it eats. Its food of choice is a venomous and feared cnidarian, the Portuguese man o’ war. This poisonous ocean drifter looks like a jellyfish, and it has a fearsome reputation.

What do dragon sea slugs eat?

Glaucus atlanticus feed on other pelagic creatures, including the Portuguese man o’ war and other venomous siphonophores. This sea slug stores stinging nematocysts from the siphonophores within its own tissues as defence against predators.

Are Blue Dragon sea slugs poisonous?

The blue dragon stores the man o’ war’s stinging nematocysts within its finger-like appendages, making itself equally venomous to predators. One sting from this little guy can lead to nausea, pain, vomiting, acute allergic contact dermatitis, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

How long do Blue Dragon sea slugs live?

Glaucus atlanticus, the Blue Dragon by Taro Taylor. Source: Wikimedia Commons. This beautiful creature that is only about three centimeters long can live up to a year under the right conditions. Its bright belly and grey back help camouflage the tiny creature from predators both above and below it.

Can you touch a blue dragon slug?

Should you ever come in contact with one, look, admire, be appropriately awed, but do not touch! Although blue dragons live on the open ocean, they sometimes wash up onto the shore, making for a spectacular – if small – sight against the beige sand.

Are blue dragon slugs poisonous?

A venomous sting

Despite their small size, blue dragons pack quite a punch with their sting. The animal eats creatures like the venomous Portuguese man-of-war and stores its prey’s stinging cells, called cnidocytes, in sacs, Hicks said.

What do dragon slugs eat?

The Blue Dragon’s diet consists of hydrozoans, mainly the infamous Portuguese Man o’ War. The slugs float in the current until they find one of the jellyfish like animals and then eat the entire structure. It may often resort to cannibalism as well. Due to these, the Blue Glaucus is considered a carnivore.

Can you touch a blue dragon sea slug?

Although pretty in color, the sea slug is a rare animal that can be dangerous, said Jace Tunnell, a marine biologist and director of the Mission-Aransas Reserve. Tunnell said not to touch or pick up any blue dragons because their stings do hurt.

What happens if you touch a blue sea dragon?

The stinging cells are stored and concentrated for the future, so when the blue dragon is threatened or touched, it can release these stinging cells to deliver a far more potent sting than the Portuguese man o’ war can alone.

Can you touch a blue sea slug?

Another added, “this species has an extremely painful sting,” warning @julianobayd, “don’t touch.” The colorful nudibranch is indeed dangerous — it “incorporates toxic chemicals or stinging cells from its prey into its own skin,” according to Oceana.org, and can often be found floating in the water on its backside.

Can you hold a blue dragon sea slug?

Those venomous cells are what make the blue dragon dangerous to humans, as it embeds those cells within its own body as a defence against other predators. Any humans who pick one up risk painful and potentially fatal stings.

Can you touch sea slugs?

The bodies of some types of sea slug have bright colours, fancy frills, and bold patterns. These colours and patterns show that the sea slugs are highly venomous (poisonous) or dangerous to touch and warn predators to stay away. There are more than 2,000 species of the sea slug and its close relatives.

Are blue sea slugs poisonous to humans?

Picking one up may result in a painful sting and symptoms similar to those of its prey. These include nausea, vomiting, and pain. But like other sea slug species, the Blue Glaucus itself isn’t venomous.

Can you touch blue dragon fish?

Tunnell said not to touch or pick up any blue dragons because their stings do hurt. Blue dragons feed on man o’ wars, a type of venomous jellyfish, and suck in some of the poison from the jellyfish before releasing it onto anything it feels threatened by, Tunnell said.

Are blue dragons harmful?

Are blue dragons dangerous to humans? Since the blue dragon stores up the stinging-cells from Portuguese Man O’War, their sting can be several times worse than their siphonophore prey. Their venom can remain active even after they die, so you should take caution not to pick up or step on any you see on the beach.

Why can’t you touch blue dragons?

“Blue dragons are a predator of the Portuguese man-of-war. After eating, they move the stinging cells from the man-of-war to the end of their ‘fingers. ‘ Because they concentrate the stinging cells together, their sting can be more painful than a man-of-war’s,” PINS officials said after the initial discovery in 2020.

Can a blue dragon hurt you?

In extreme cases, where someone has a severe allergic reaction to the sting, and because of how concentrated the toxin is, the blue dragon can kill a person. So while they’re pretty to look at, don’t pick them up.

Can you have a blue dragon as a pet?

They Don’t Make Good Pets

A blue dragon’s striking blue looks lead some people to consider adding them to a home aquarium. Fortunately, these creatures aren’t readily available for purchase. They don’t make good pets because of their dietary needs, it is impossible to find food for them at a pet store.

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