Blue Dragon Nudibranch - Glaucus altanticus

Other common names: sea swallow, blue glaucus, blue dragon, blue sea slug and blue ocean slug.

Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia

My son and I found this amazing little creature while catching prawns (trying to!). I've only ever seen one of these animals once before many years ago when my son was very small - he is now 16yo. We saw it on a beach but had no idea what it was at the time. It became a story that we talked about for years and my son would often say "Remember when we saw that crazy blue 'fish' on the beach?" The way they move it isn't hard to believe it could be some sort of exotic fish. I learned years later that it was in fact a type of Nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusk or sea slug. Well, much to our excitement we found one again and this time I was able to get photos for the record.

This wasn't an easy photo to take and I'm not sure of the exact details because it took a fair bit of experimenting to get a shot I was happy with. I'd be happy to share a few tips and more details if anyone is interested. It involved a macro lens, a bucket, off-camera flash, mosquito bites and sandy, wet knees.

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