Thu, Nov 15, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Marine researcher discovers new species of sea slug

By Kuo Fang-chi  /  STAFF REPORTER

A sea slug found off the coast of Green Island is pictured in this photo. The new species of slug, nicknamed ``little strawberry,'' was discovered by Chen Ming-huei of the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WU SUNG-HUNG

A new species of sea slug was discovered last month off the coast of Green Island by Taiwanese marine biologist Chen Ming-huei (陳明輝). It has been temporarily nicknamed "little strawberry" until an official name can be determined.

Chen, a research assistant at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, found the slug while conducting a survey of soft-body animals.

Chen and his team were commissioned by the Taiwanese Coral Reef Society to investigate the marine life in the area to determine whether Green Island should be included in the Construction and Planning Agency's plan to establish a marine park along the Dong Sha Atoll.

Chen reportedly set a new record by finding more than 30 species of sea slugs native to Green Island during his survey.

To confirm his finding, Chen sent an e-mail to a sea slug expert, Richard Willan -- the curator of molluscs at the Northern Territories Museum in Darwin, Australia.

Willan confirmed that "little strawberry," a type of nudibranch, which belongs to the Trotonia species, was a new discovery.

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