Sheep herding on Koh Tao

There is sheep herding here on Koh Tao.  But not in the way you may think.

When we say sheep herding on Koh Tao we mean it in a totally different way. We have no sheep on our small island as the area is populated with jungle and has many steep mountains. These would be a nightmare for herding sheep.  The sheep I'm referring to are found on our local house reef just off Sairee Beach.

Costasiella Kuroshimae is a species of sea slug found in the Gulf of Thailand. They are a shell-less organism part of the Costasiellidae family, that feed on algae and then absorb the chloroplast cells using them for photosynthesis. This is an exciting trait, making them almost completely solar-powered since they convert sunlight into energy just like the plants they feed on.

So going back to their sheep alias, their appearance is the main reason they picked up the nickname 'sheep nudi' as they look like small cartoon sheep with a big round head and what appears to be a fluffy body.  Usually, when you see one you’ll see many, just like a herd of real sheep.  And since they feed on plants, when you find them it can often look like a green field under the sea, with a herd of small sheep.  A strange mirroring of herds of sheep in green fields that you'd find on land!

So next time you plan to dive, join our eco team and explore the local house reef that is filled with many small and unusual characters like our local sheep nudi’s. There are always things to see under the sea.  A dive is a wonderful way to explore the underwater realm.