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Join Blue Water Ventures as we travel the world teaching coral reef ecology in Belize, Baja, British Virgin Islands and beyond!

On our recent “scouting” trip to Oahu, we were just finishing up a kayak surf session off of Kailua Beach, when a Spanish Dancer stole the show! These flamboyant sea slugs are amazing swimmers that feed on toxic sponges. Their scientific name, Hexabranchus sanguineus literally means “six-gills blood-colored”. As a type of nudibranch, their gills are exposed on their dorsal side and they enjoy a hermaphroditic life style. Lurking within the velvety tissue of the Spanish Dancer lives The Emperor shrimp, Periclimenes imperator which earns its keep by cleaning the “naked gills” of this “nudibranch”.

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