Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Blue Dragon Sea Slugs Wash Up On Florida Beaches

Venomous Blue Dragon sea slugs that eat Portuguese Man-o-War have washed up on Florida's east coast beaches this past week.

Blue Dragons, known scientifically as Glaucus atlanticus, are sea slugs that float at the ocean's surface and consume jellyfish, including Portuguese Man-o-War and By-the-Wind Sailors.

The Blue Dragons are not only immune to jellyfish's venom, but can actually store the venom they consume in their own bodies as protection from predators.

This eye-catching sea slug is often found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans but is also known to wash up from time to time on Florida's east coast. But don't pick up Blue Dragons with your bare hands if you see one on the beach. That's because they are able to concentrate the venom and have a worse sting than Portuguese Man-o-War.

So far, the Blue Dragons have been spotted between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in Boca Raton and Ocean Ridge, a small beach town near Boyton Beach.