Lukot | National Museum Bohol (@natmuseumbohol)

Hello Sea food Lovers! Have you seen or tasted Lukot? They look like green noodles underwater and are in fact, secretions of a reef critter. As we celebrate the Month of the ocean, here’s a feature on the SeaHare Dolabella auricularia locally known as Donsol.

The species belongs to the sea slug family of Aplysiidae. It is a large marine gastropod mollusk found in coral reefs feeding on destructive algae covering the corals. The Donsol has a soft body with an internal shell reduced to a flat plate and two ear-like rabbit tentacles called rhinophores, hence the name “hare”. When threatened, these sea slugs can secrete deadly toxins.

Donsols are Hermaphrodite, meaning an individual carries male and female reproductive organs. After mating, strings of eggs are deposited on sea floors and grass beds. These eggs, called “lukot”, are collected and served as a delicacy in coastal communities.

In Bohol, lukot is eaten raw and added with vinegar and spices. It can also be added to other dishes such as Fish Tinola or tinuwa. The Donsol, on the other hand, can be sauteed or cooked adobo-style. Both donsol and lukot are good sources of protein and essential fatty acids as an energy booster and promote good cell functioning.

While considered delicacies, harvesting these sea slugs must also be regulated as they help sustain reef ecosystems. Eating algae helps clean coral reefs, allowing corals to breathe and grow.

Let’s conserve these reef cleaners for a healthier marine environment.

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