Ancula gibbosa
Image courtesy of Gar Waterman
Image courtesy of Gar Waterman

Ancula gibbosa (Risso, 1818)

I think we would all agree that we are attracted to sea slugs because of their diverse shapes and colors, their incredible defense systems, and the amazing variety of lifestyles, from herbivores to carnivores and piscivores. I have been collecting examples of nudibranch artwork for years - everything from tattoos, to paintings, to lovely glass sculptures. My very favorites, however, are the stone sculptures by Gar Waterman, many of which are on display for the next several weeks at The Maritime Aquarium, in Norwalk, CT. Open this link for details - Maritime Aquarium Exhibits . Gar is joined in the exhibit by underwater photographers from all around the world including Gordon Tillen, Keith Ellenbogen, Kevin Lee, Alicia Hermosillo, Emanuel Goncalves and Jim Anderson.

Ancula gibbosa, shown above is just one sample of Gar's work and shows the detail he achieves with his stone carving tools. Carved from a block of Persian Onyx, you can almost see this animal move. Every characteristic is perfect. For those of you that can travel to Norwalk I highly recommend visiting A Slug's Life: Facing the Climate Endgame. In this special exhibit that showcases live creatures with their representations in art, Gar educates us on the potential detrimental outcomes that increased global warming and ocean acidification will have on this group of organisms.

The exhibit runs through Labor day so don't delay if you are entertaining thoughts of seeing it firsthand!

Dave Behrens
Sammamish, WA 98074
Aug., 2021
Send Dave email at
Send Gar email at

Entrance to Maritime Museum
Norwalk, CT.

Gar Waterman's sculpture explores organic form. A combination of observation of natural phenomena, sensual devotion to the tactile possibilities of material, and a model maker's tinkering sensibility inform his work. He grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, with a formative year in Tahiti at the age of 9 to 10, where his father, pioneer underwater film maker Stan Waterman, documented the adventure in a National Geographic Special. Waterman's daily contact was with the exotic flora of the Polynesian landscape and the barrier reefs of the South Pacific, with their hydrodynamic fish, rays, sharks, and corals. After college at Dartmouth, Waterman moved to Pietrasanta, Italy, where he lived for seven years and learned to carve stone. A foundation of ocean imagery experienced firsthand over a lifetime of diving infuses his sculpture with marine forms, from fish, nudibranchs, and squid to the spiral perfection of shells.

Gar's work was first featured on this site back in 2010 (See BOW 677). Gar's work will certainly preserve our friends the seal slugs immemorial.

Gar has his own website where the reader can further explore the wonderful world of Gar Waterman

Send Gar email at

Attention all you Sluggers, and you know who you are!

The NSSI 2nd edition is now available in ebook PDF and book form . The hard back version will become available Nov. 1st. Both will cost $65 (individually).

You will need to jump through a few hoops to get the electronic version as pdf distribution is protected by Adobe ID!! Please read the following to enable reading your electronic purchase!

This new 2nd Edition is updated and reorganized, including 185 new species. Among other features, the new edition includes additional photographs of species, an identification key, and an up-to-date classification reflecting the latest evolutionary relationships. The Indo-Pacific represents the largest expanse of tropical ocean in the world, stretching from the Indian Ocean coast of southern Africa and the Red Sea to the central Pacific of the Hawaiian Islands, Easter Island and the Marquesas.

This region supports the most diverse marine fauna of any place in the world for most groups of marine organisms. The nudibranchs and sea slugs are no exception to this rule; there are about 3,000 described species of these organisms in the world and at least 40% of these have been found exclusively in the Indo-Pacific tropics. This book illustrates 2,138 Indo-Pacific nudibranchs and sea slugs, including many undescribed species.

From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angel Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

Send Dave email at

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2021. All Rights Reserved.