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Leaf Sheep - A Leaf Slug That Can Photosynthesize

Leaf sheep - Found in 1993 off the shore of the Japanese island Kuroshima, Costasiella kuroshimae, leaf sheep slug have been found in the waters close to Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Costasiella kuroshimae — otherwise called a "leaf slug", "leaf sheep", or "pungent sea caterpillar" — is a type of sacoglossan ocean slug.

Costasiella kuroshimae are shell-less marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks in the family Costasiellidae. They range in size from 5 millimeters (0.20 in) to 1 centimeter (0.39 in) long.

A close up shot of a leef sheep
A close up shot of a leef sheep

They have two dull eyes and two rhinophores that rise up out of the highest points of their heads that look similar to sheep's ears or bug radio wires, henceforth the normal name "leaf sheep".

The rhinophores have fine hairs that sense synthetic compounds in the water, empowering Costasiella kuroshimae and other ocean slugs to observe food sources.

"Shaun the Sheep" is what numerous jumpers in the Philippines tenderly call an inquisitive ocean animal known as the leaf sheep (Costasiella kuroshimae) because of its comparability to the energized sheep. In spite of what its name proposes, the leaf sheep is neither leaf nor sheep - it's an ocean slug.

"They're delicate creatures and their bodies are like shell-less snails," said Genevieve Reyes, a diver, and photographer. "Leaf sheep don't hide or retract when they feel your presence. They have a routine life, circling the leaf of an algae and grazing about in their own little world."

What Are The Leaves On A Leaf Sheep?

This marine invertebrate has dark beady eyes arranged near one another, rhinophores with dark tips looking like sheep's ears or bug radio wires standing out of its white head and dabbed green cerata jumping out of the upper surface of its body.

The ocean slug's cerata are leaflike limbs similar to an aloe vera plant or a zebra delicious however commonly with pink, purple or white tips, and they contain parts of stomach related organs.

In the meantime, rhinophores get compound signs in the water, giving the ocean slug its feeling of smell and empowering it to observe food sources.

Leaf sheep live on Avrainvillea, a fluffy, felty kind of green growth developing in regions with delicate substrates, like residue or fine sand. "They're not found in coral reefs but in areas next to coral reefs," Gosliner said.

Leaf sheep slug sitting on a grass pipe
Leaf sheep slug sitting on a grass pipe

"The leaf sheep spends its whole life on that species of algae, and you can often see a whole colony of them there – I've seen up to 15 or 20 on one blade of alga. Sometimes, you can see the egg mass of the slug, which are tiny spiral coils."

The Avrainvillea isn't just the ocean slug's home, yet additionally its wellspring of sustenance. As a type of Sacoglossa, or "sap-sucking" ocean slug, the leaf sheep brushes (similar to its herbivorous namesake) on the green growth, sucks its chloroplasts (structures inside the green growth's phones that contain chlorophyll, a green photosynthetic shade) and keeps them inside the tissues of its cerata for as long as 10 days, a cycle called kleptoplasty.

Ecological Dangers

Leaf sheep are not in basic peril, but rather they actually face dangers to endurance, including territory misfortune.

Practices like unlawful fishing and damaging fishing (utilizing explosive or cyanide, for example) annihilate marine environments and kill the creatures living in them.

While these practices have been banned in the Philippines, unlawful fishing damaging fishing actually persevere in the country.

People Also Ask

What Is Special About The Leaf Sheep?

Leaf sheep have rhinophores on their heads that seem to be the ears of a sheep in context to their countenances. They additionally look like radio wires on bugs.

The leaf sheep's rhinophores have fine hairs that sense synthetic substances in the water, empowering them to observe food sources.

Where Can I Find Leaf Sheep?

Costasiella kuroshimae, which can grow up to 5 millimeters long, can be found close to Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They touch on green growth and utilize the chloroplasts from their food to make their own energy.

Can Leaf Sheep Photosynthesize?

This leaf sheep doesn't just have a totally abnormal and adorable name yet additionally has an exceptionally charming appearance. Also, this ocean slug is sorted as the main multicellular creature clade which can photosynthesize light and transform it into food.

"Has all energy it needs but still eats more'

_timmyboyoyo (Reddit)

"Sounds like my dad at an all you can eat buffet."

_Prestigious_Nebula_5 (Reddit)

"And then we drove around until 3am looking for another all you could eat fish restaurant.

And when you couldn't find one?

We ate so much algae we began to photosynthesize.

Ladies and gentlemen of the court, do these sound like the actions of a man who had all he could eat?"

_munk-e-man (Reddit)

"Does it make its own chlorophyll or does it need to eat chloroplasts?"


"Cute chlorophyll Godzilla... I don't think it sprays lazers... but I'll glad to be wrong."

_dukercrd (Reddit)

We have a lot of crazy stuff, like a beetle that fires explosive chemicals, a miniature golden tortoise, and a lot more.


Inside Philippine waters, leaf sheep slug has been found in the nation's northern, focal and southern districts - from the coral-shrouded cleft of Anilao in the Batangas territory of the Luzon area to the sludge-filled bottoms of Dauin in the Negros Oriental region of the Visayas locale and the spring of gushing lava-like inclines and reefs of the island region of Camiguin in the Mindanao area.

The best opportunity to visit is during the long periods of December to May when the waters are quiet and the hurricane season has finished. You can arrive at most jump locales by riding an outrigger boat called a Bangka, yet some plunge resorts have a "house reef" before them.

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