The Blue Dragon Sea Slug Found in Texas is a Rare and Beautiful Venomous Preditor
A lot of people are afraid of snakes or mice, and that is totally understandable. You will probably want to add SLUGS to your list of things to fear. I have actually had a true fear of slugs and their cousin, the snail. I don't actually know if they are cousins, so don't quote me on that. My fear stems from a childhood encounter with a slug.
Oh hey there, I'm here to slime you.
Once Upon a Slime
You know how little kids like to run free outside with no shoes on, unaware of what might happen to their poor little feet? Well, that was me once, not afraid of a bee sting or a rusty nail. And yes, I have stepped on both of those. My kryptonite is a slug. I stepped outside onto the little patch of concrete at dusk and...SQUISH! That's right, a giant slug was slimed between my toes. I feel disgusting just telling you about it.
But Wait, There's More
After my toe slime incident, it's like the slug community was seeking me out. Slowly of course, but still. I don't know how old I was, but I encountered a SLUG in the TUB! This is also when I learned that salt melts them. It just so happens that salt burns my tongue, so I am certain that slime did something to me.
Meet the Blue Dragon Sea Slug aka Glaucus Atlanticus
How could this cute little blue creature be dangerous? Well, the blue dragon sea slug actually takes the venom from the Portuguese man o' war (Kind of like a jellyfish) and uses it as its own weapon. Very slug-like if you ask me. These venomous little slugs have recently been spotted on a beach in Texas along the Gulf Coast.
Dr. David Hicks is a Professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and let's just say he knows his sea creature facts.
“Whenever the blue dragon consumes the Portuguese man o' war, it'll actually take some of those stinging cells and has sacks where it stores them on its own body," Hicks said. “Now he's protected. Because if anything touches it, it will get stung, just as if it had touched the Portuguese man o' war."