Sea Slugs are sometimes called the butterflies of the sea, but they’re more than just a pretty face! Not only are they adorned in a bewitching spectrum of colours, they’re also excellent indicators of how our environment is changing.
With 15 successful Melbourne Sea Slug Census events to date, our records of sea slug species found in Victorian coastal waters continue to grow.
Collecting photos of sea slugs present at different times during the year helps us to monitor these species and track any changes. But we need your help!
Autumn Census – April 2023
Autumn is a great time to rock and ramble along the coast and search for slugs. The slugs themselves are not that fond of overheating in the scorching sun, so whether you’re snorkeling, diving or walking the intertidal “think like a slug” and search the cooler shady spots for these cryptic critters.
If you snap a photo of sea slug anywhere on the Victorian coast between 12:01 am Friday 7 April and 23:59 pm Sunday 16 April, please submit your images to the Sea Slug Census project for April on iNaturalist.
You can also come along to our San Remo Sea Slug Census to learn more.
Each of your observations increases knowledge on these short-lived and unusual molluscs. The images you send in will help us unravel the mysteries of these critters and detect changes in sea slug populations.
iNaturalist is a great community of experts and enthusiasts that can help you hone your identification skills and learn more about all kinds of wonderful wildlife. If you’re not already on the platform, you can head here for a guide and videos to help you sign up and start uploading your valuable images!
About iNaturalist and how to upload photos
Please note: the guide has been created for our Marine Life of Victoria project, but the steps for joining iNaturalist still apply. Your sea slug images will automatically be added to the Census if they meet the criteria (a sea slug taken anywhere along the Victorian coast during Census times).
Summer Census – January 2023
Visit the January Census project page
The most recent Melbourne Sea Slug Census was in January 2023. View all the photos, species and other stats on the iNaturalist project page.
Remember, you don’t need an iNaturalist account to check them out- although we strongly encourage you to join in on the fun! Having our data on iNaturalist allows the project founders to compare data from Censuses held around the country, as well as providing open access to the images that are being submitted.
In Partnership with the Melbourne Sea Slug Census:
The Sea Slug Census is supported by the Victorian Government.