ADD it to the list of big things.
This three-metre-long painted nudibranch, or sea slug, named Nellie, in Nelson Bay is the latest addition to the nation’s obsessive collection of comparatively large objects.
Set to be unveiled on Saturday, it’s the headline act of the ‘‘Nudi Festival’’ being held in the Bay for the first time.
The festival, part of a push to help conservation efforts of the invertebrate sea slug, includes contests for the best nudi spotter during the festival, and prizes for divers who take the best photographs of the invertebrate.
The east side of Port Stephens is renowned for having some of the best shore dive sites in Australia, and the slugs’ bright colours and intricate patterns regularly draw divers from throughout the country.
In December last year researchers from Southern Cross University and the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park began working to officially record nudibranch diversity in the surrounding region, recording more than 200 species in the process.
Talks on the nudibranch will be held at the Tomaree Library in Salamander Bay at 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday, and Saturday, while touch tanks and other nudibranch displays will be at d’Albora Marinas from 11am-3pm on Saturday.
World-renowned nudibranch expert, Dr Richard Willan, curator of molluscs at the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, will also give public lectures.
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