Thousands of sea hares invade reef

The invasion slithered along the depths, antenna-like appendages quivering as they sought their prey. Their squishy, frilled and speckled bodies could be seen hunting by the thousands along the sandy bottom of Navarre Beach’s near shore snorkel reefs.

This is no alien invasion, but it is certainly unusual, said Navarre Beach Marine Science Station (NBMSS) Director Charlene Mauro.

These hand-sized slugs are called sea hares, a native species not normally seen in such abundance. Local diver Tazz Felde caught footage of the sea hare stampede.

“I had never seen that many before. I have seen them underwater, and I have seen maybe a fraction of that many,” she said.

They showed up earlier this month, and Mauro said they are actually kind of cute.

Read the full article in the Aug. 31 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at for as little as $38 per year.

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