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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

See a Sea Hare (Video)

Sea hare squirting ink

So this is a SEA HARE. I mentioned a SEA SLUG when I did a posted “I Found A Nudibranch” on April 15 and a sea hare is a sea slug too. I’m not sure the difference…..but I do know that they are very cool to watch. When a sea hare wants to scare a predator, he emits that purple ink like he did in the first picture. I got a movie of this guy right after I took the picture of him squirting the ink. If you watch right in the beginning, you’ll see the end of the ink coming out….then he feels comfy and starts swimming on his merry way. Check it out!


  1. Very Curious! I’ve never seen anything like that creature. Ive seen the sea slugs at low tide. Do they all move like that thru the water? They aren’t harmful to us human-types are they? Just fascinating, Pam. You are sea-lucky to be able to experience first-hand Mother Nature’s wonders. Thank you for sharing.

  2. How big is that? What beach was it near? That’s so cool, thanks for sharing all the cool things.

  3. Curious! You are right, Christine. They aren’t harmful to humans and Tam Tam, he was about 8 inches long and I found him about a mile west of the lighthouse on Sanibel. At the end of the video, you’ll see the point of the island- that’s the lighthouse end. A guy had just held this sea hare in his hand and put him gently back in the water and that’s when he spit his purple ink. It was crazy!

  4. i have never seen one of those, but that is the neatest lookin thing!!!

    • McKenzie- you asked in another post about a tide chart for Cayo Costa…..I added that chart in the tides information under the “SW Florida Beach Info” tab. Hope this helps

      • ok thanks soo much, but that was my mom who had the question haha but thankyou. Yeah me and my mom are so excited to come down. We make a chain every year starting at about……30 links counting down to the last day till captiva!!! Hey, did you go to Blinds Pass last summer when they were dredging? I am sure u did but i dont know. oh and thankyou for always responding to our comments or e-mails, haha me and my mom get so excited when you do.

  5. What a beautiful video!I am learning so much in such a lovely way. Thanks..

  6. Oh my gosh what a great video. I saw my first sea hare in a small museum in Charleston, SC in about 2003. They had a display different jars of marine specimens collected from a ship in the 19th century and preserved (if I remember correctly) in rum. One of them was labeled “sea hare.” Now, I have finally seen what they look like in their element. What a strange, wonderful world we live in.

  7. Teriffic video. I’m pretty sure your sea hare is the one with the common name of “sooty sea hare”. Their color runs from purplish to black. There are, to my knowledge, about three different animals similar to this one in Florida waters. This animal actually has a shell which over time has been internalized. The shell is toward the rear of the body and is very thin and delicate. The wing like extensions on either side of his body are called parapodia (probably more than you wanted to know) and are used to propel the animal along. It feeds on algae it finds on the bottom. As noted above, they are completely harmless. Kind of like handling a wet water baloon. Thanks for the great pictures.

    • Oh goody, it’s a sooty! LOL. I kind of wish I had picked him up just to feel what his squishiness felt like but I just didn’t want to disturb his graceful swimming. Maybe next time. Rodger, thank you so much for the really good info on this curious creature.

  8. Thanks for sharing another great video! Very interesting creature. Sure enjoy your site. I’m only able to hit Sanibel/Captiva once a year, but visiting your blog is the next best thing.

  9. Today I was fishing and saw this weird thing in the water. I was at a dock in Florida and picked up a net and picked this thing up and it squirted purple ink it was crazy! So all day I’ve been looking around on the Internet to see what it was. Now I’ve have found it it’s sea hare.

    • They are so cool aren’t they? I’m so glad you found the answer to your critter question. Thanks for visiting!

  10. This is truly an awesome creature!! First discovered it by our dock in South Bimini, Bahamas. Had never seen anything like this & was trying to fish it out of the water using a scuba fin. It inked which really surprised us!!! So happy we were able to experience this!!!

  11. I caught one of these in a net off of a pier on the Intercoastal waterway out of Rockport, Texas. I immediately placed it back into the water and it started inking. Very cool. So glad I was able to find this page on the web and see the video.

  12. Great video saw one in the sea off Pass-a-Grille beach, and wondered what it was, id it and thanks to the video was able to share what I saw with family and friends

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