Sea hare

Mollusca – Gastropoda


Sometimes dark slimy blobs wash up onto beaches during late summer and throughout autumn.  These blobs are actually sea hares – a type of mollusc closely related to sea slugs or nudibranchs. Grazing on algae, their black, brown or purple colour (dark mottled green in some other species) acts as perfect camouflage as they slowly crawl over the seabed. Sea hares only live for about a year – dying after laying their long tangled strings of eggs.

Did you know?

Be careful if handling sea hares – when threatened, these molluscs may excrete colourless toxic slime from the skin and a cloud of purple ink that can irritate the eyes. Some species can even kill a dog if eaten or even mouthed!