A Bundaberg local is encouraging residents to get out and explore the diversity of sea life in the region's coastal areas after discovering a “flamboyant” sea slug at The Basin.
Dylan Malone said he was walking along the beach recently when a glimmer of orange and red glistened through the water.
He said the bright creature was a nudibranch, or Spanish dancer, and while he had seen a few on his diving trips previously, coming across one so close to shore was a first.
“I haven't seen any nudibranchs at the basin before but I've seen them while diving along the Bundaberg coastline,” he said.
“I think what makes Spanish dancers and nudibranchs in general so unique is their beautiful colours, they're the most flamboyant sea slugs in the ocean.
“When someone thinks of sea slugs they don't think about beautiful colours, patterns and shapes.”
According to Queensland Museum, nudibranch have bright and elaborate colour patterns as spectacular as those seen in some butterflies.
Some feed on fire corals and keep their stinging cells to use for their own defense, whereas other nudibranchs are not toxic but use the colour patterns of toxic species to pretend to be dangerous and warn-off predators.
Region's coast a great place to explore
Dylan said he often liked to explore the region's coastline and always discovered something new.
“I've spent a lot of time in and around The Basin at Kelly's Beach and it's really rich in biodiversity,” he said.
“I've seen stingrays, plenty of fish of all sizes, even a small shovel nose ray.”
Dylan said the best time to visit The Basin was at high tide.
“Bundaberg has really great areas to discover interesting marine life, and I encourage everyone to get out and explore, you never know what you might find,” he said.
Related stories: Spanish dancer washes ashore at Elliott River