Meet the Leaf Sheep!

 Seagriculture EU 2024

H​​ere’s something you don’t see every day. Akin to algae growing on polar bear fur, meet the Leaf Sheep, an adorable sea slug that eats so much algae it can photosynthesize.

Costasiella kuroshimae — also known as a “leaf slug,” “leaf sheep,” or “salty ocean caterpillar” — is a species of sacoglossan sea slug. Costasiella kuroshimae are shell-less marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks in the family Costasiellidae. They range in size from 5 millimeters to 1 centimeter in length.

Discovered in 1993 off the coast of the Japanese island Kuroshima, Costasiella kuroshimae have been found in the waters near Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Costasiella kuroshimae are capable of a physiological process called kleptoplasty, in which they retain the chloroplasts from the algae they feed on. Absorbing the chloroplasts from algae then enables them to indirectly perform photosynthesis.

Enjoy their ultimate cuteness! Thanks to the Nature Connection and Elizabeth Putnam.

Seagriculture USA 2024
AlgaeMetrics

Subscribe

Breaking-News

  • April 22, 2024: New England Kelp Harvest Week, a project started by the Sugar Kelp Collective in 2021, runs from April 20-30 this year. The group of kelp farmers and activists works with restaurants, bakeries, and fish markets to create special dishes and menus that use the sea vegetable, which grows in winter and is harvested in the spring. Across Connecticut, this provides an ideal opportunity for people to explore dishes and cocktails made with kelp. READ MORE...
  • April 19, 2024: Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who took spirulina had a lower risk of death than those who did not, according to results of a randomized controlled trial recently published in Frontiers in Immunology. READ MORE...
  • April 17, 2024: A research team exploring the untapped potential of seaweed farming for carbon sequestration is positioning Taiwan to play a role in offsetting global carbon emissions. READ MORE...
  • April 15, 2024: Somater, a French manufacturer of plastic and polymer primary packaging for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food, and industry, has partnered with French start-up Eranova to create a 100% bio-based line of packaging from green algae collected on the banks of a brackish water lagoon near Marseille, in the south of France. READ MORE...

Algae Europe 2024

A Beginner’s Guide