Short-tailed sea slug

Short-tailed Sea Slug, Ceratosoma brevicaudatum, on sand.
Image: Julian Finn / Museums Victoria
Community type

Benthic reefs organisms

Habitat type

Rocky reefs, kelp beds and inter-tidal zone

This colourful sea slug is native to southern Australia, and can be found on rocky shores and reefs to depths of more than 100 m, where it eats sponges. Growing up to 15 cm long, it is distinctively coloured with a pink and orange body, white edges and small red spots. Short-tailed sea slugs have a small but distinctive tail, in which it stores unpleasant chemicals from its food, so that predators are discouraged when attacking it. When breeding sea slugs they lay spirals of transparent-white eggs on the reef.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.