Sea swallow, blue angel, blue dragon, blue sea slug, and blue dragon sea slug, it has so many other names. But what is it actually? This article discusses some important glaucus atlanticus facts. These fun and interesting blue dragon facts will help you know everything about them.
What Is a Blue Dragon?
A blue dragon is a small species of blue sea slug which is a pelagic aeolid nudibranch. They are carried along by ocean currents while floating upside down by using the surface tension of the water in order to stay up. They float by swallowing air and holding it in their stomach.
Where Do Sea Slugs Live?
You can find sea slugs in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean in warm tropical waters.
What Does a Sea Slug Look Like?
- A. Have Soft Bodies
- B. Have Rough Bodies
- C. Have Sharp Spikes
- D. Have Golden Stripes
Blue Dragon Facts
1) Blue Dragons have radular teeth that are similar to a knife. They only grow about 1.2 inches long but using the serrated edges of their teeth that are present along its chitinous jaw, they can eat creatures that are many times larger than their size.
2) They use a method called countershading in order to escape from the predators. The blue side of the sea slug faces upwards to blend in with the blue of the water, whereas the silver/grey side faces downwards to camouflage and merge with the sunlight reflecting on the ocean’s surface. Predators can barely see the blue dragons with such a dashes of colors.
3) Even in case a predator finds the sea slug as they float, they attempt its next line of defense. The sea slug stores stinging nematocysts that are created by the creatures including venomous siphonophores and Portuguese man o’wars. These are stored and concentrated, hence when it is touched, the blue dragons release these stinging cells to defend themselves. Its punch can be even more stronger than the man o’war hydrozoa.
4) Groups of blue dragons float among the siphonophores they feed on and create a formation called “blue fleets”.
5) When they are caught in waves and are pushed towards the beach, they curl into balls in order to protect themselves. Their venom remains active even when they are dead, hence if a human tries to have contact with the blue dragons, they will be left with fiery stings.
6) Researchers predicted the range of blue dragons, 93 miles farther north into the Bay of California. Its existence was confirmed after fishers caught them while fishing in 2015.
7) They were spotted again twice in the same year, South Padre Island in May 2020 and Cape Town, South Africa, in November 2020.
8) These blue dragons are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs.
9) Once they mate with the bends in their penises resulting in strings of 20 eggs.
10) It might look beautiful, but if you thought of having it in your home aquarium, it is not possible. Firstly because of their poisonous string. Secondly, because you cannot find the right food according to their dietary needs.
11) The lifespan of a Blue Dragon Sea Slugs is between one month and one year long.
12) The Blue Dragons mostly feed on JellyFish such as Man o’ Wars. While they are eating, they keep the stinging cells called the nematocysts.