Blue Dragons : Spotted
Blue dragons (Glaucus atlanticus) have been spotted on the beach and in waters near the shore in Besant Nagar in Chennai.
- The blue dragon (Glaucus atlanticus) is a type of mollusc known as a nudibranch.
- They also are known as blue sea slugs, blue angels, and sea swallows.
- It rarely grows larger than three centimetres long.
- An air bubble stored in its stomach keeps the blue dragon afloat.
- It can be found drifting on the surface of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans in temperate and tropical waters.
- They feed on venomous siphonophores such as the Portuguese man-o-war and bluebottle, which also occur in ocean surface waters.
- The dragons appear immune to the nematocysts stinging cells of these jellyfish-like creatures.
- They incorporate these cells into multiple finger-like structures protruding from their body which provides them with a potent form of protection from predators.
- The slug isn’t venomous all on its own, however, it stores the stinging nematocysts created by the creatures on which it feeds.
- Its sting can cause problems, especially to children and elderly.
- One sting from this little creature can lead to nausea, pain, vomiting, acute allergic contact dermatitis, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.