Rare Venomous Nudibranch Washes Up On Aussie Beach

The blue dragon preys on the Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish.

Blue Dragon ( Glaucus atlanticus ). Via Daniel McDermott/Wikipedia

A rare and beautiful nudibranch with a sting so deadly that it can kill a Portuguese man-o-war (Physalia physalis), recently washed up on an Australian beach. The elusive blue dragon (Glaucus atlanticus) was found by a beachgoer who was walking on a beach in Queensland, Australia.

Glaucus atlanticus, a blue dragon nudibranch, washed up on a beach in Australia.

These guys are super beautiful yet deadly. The blue dragon is unique in that it is a pelagic specimen, floating near the surface of the ocean, preying on the highly venomous Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish, the by-the-wind-sailor (Velella velella), the blue button (Porpita porpita) and the violet snail, (Janthina janthina). After it devours the Portuguese Man-of-War, the blue dragon stores the jelly’s intact stinging cells for future use against predators. It can be found throughout the world’s oceans.

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