A Leaf Sheep or a sea sheep is probably the most adorable creature. No, you didn’t read that wrong. A leaf sheep sea slug actually exists, and you can’t help but fall in love with it! Let’s get to know more about this extraordinary creature.

What is a Leaf Sheep Sea Slug?

It’s a sheep! It’s a cow! No, it’s Costasiella kuroshimae (or ‘Leaf Sheep’ for short). This adorable little sea slug, whose beady eyes and cute feelers make it look like a cartoon sea sheep, is affectionately called ‘Shaun the Sheep’ by Philippine divers. 

It can grow up to 7-8mm in length and can be found near Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. And it feeds on algae—just like the real thing!

How do Leaf Sheep Photosynthesize?

What’s fascinating about the tiny cute animal is that they are one of the only sea creatures in the world to perform photosynthesis (the others all belong to the sacoglossa sea slug clade). 

When these weird animals eat algae, they suck out the chloroplasts and incorporate them into their own bodies in a process called kleptoplasty. This process, which otherwise can only be performed by single-celled organisms, essentially makes them solar-powered slugs!

Are Leaf Sheep Slug Salt Water or Fresh Water Creatures?

Leaf sheep slugs are slat water creatures. Due to their unique ability to photosynthesize, they can be found below water, where the sunlight penetrates. But they can be challenging to spot, owning to their adorable tiny size. So, if you are a diver and planning to look for them, just be careful. Admire them from a distance and leave them be.

Are Leaf Sheep Poisonous?

As far as human knowledge goes, they aren’t known to be poisonous as their bodies aren’t equipped with stinging cells or venomous structures. However, it is always better to be cautious and admire them from afar!


Now, let us begin the visually pleasing journey, shall we?

More info:

This Cute Little Sea Sheep is a Sea Slug that Loves to Eat Algae

Image credits: Jim Lynn

It is One of the Only Creatures in the World that Can Use Algae to Photosynthesize!

Image credits: Jim Lynn

These Little Nibblers have been Found Everywhere from Japan to Indonesia and the Philippines

Image credits: Randi Ang

Image credits: Johnny Chiu


Image credits: Lynn Wu

Sea Slug Species: Adorably Sheep-ish!

It’s just fascinating to learn about these oh-so-amazing creatures, right? They are truly extraordinary, from their delicate little bodies to their unique abilities. Some people have gone as far as to call them Pokémon! Well, with their magical bodies, they might just be one; who knows! What did you think about them? Let us know in the comments!


If this cute little creature of the sea has inspired you to see sea slugs in a new light, then check out this adorable ‘sea bunny’ sea slug to seal the deal!

FAQs About Leaf Sheep

Can You Keep a Leaf Sheep as a Pet?

No, you can’t keep a Leaf Sheep as a pet.

Is the Leaf Sheep a Plant or Animal?

Leaf sheep is an underwater animal or sea slug, to be specific.

Is the Leaf Sheep the Only Animal that Can Photosynthesize?

No, Leaf sheep isn’t the only animal that can photosynthesize. However, they’re one of the only sea creatures that can photosynthesize.

Where do Leaf Sheep Live?

Near Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, leaf sheep can be found underwater.

Are Leaf Sheep Endangered?

No, Leaf sheep aren’t endangered.