Aplysia dactylomela (Rang, 1828)
Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828
|Classification according to Bouchet et al. (2017)|
Taxonomic source: World Register of Marine Species (AphiaID: 138753).
- Aplysia aequorea Heilprin, 1888
- Aplysia angasi G.B. Sowerby II, 1869
- Aplysia annulifera Thiele, 1930
- Aplysia benedicti Eliot, 1899
- Aplysia bourailli Risbec, 1951
- Aplysia fimbriata Adams & Reeve, 1850
- Aplysia megaptera Verrill, 1900
- Aplysia ocellata d’Orbigny, 1839
- Aplysia odorata Risbec, 1928
- Aplysia operta Burne, 1906
- Aplysia protea Rang, 1828
- Aplysia radiata Ehrenberg, 1831
- Aplysia schrammi Deshayes, 1857
- Aplysia scutellata Ehrenberg, 1831
- Aplysia tigrina Rang, 1828
- Aplysia velifer Bergh, 1905
This spectacular species of sea hare can reach a size of 40 cm in length. The body of this species is thick, with well developed parapodia that are free at the rear end and can completely cover the dorsum of the animal. The background color of the body varies from light to dark brown to yellowish or olive green on which appear numerous black rings of different sizes that make this species unmistakable. There are also thin or thick sometimes dashed black lines that starting from the rings may converge among them, those lines can be very abundant in the outer edge of the parapodia. The inner face of the parapodia has usually very wide, dark, almost black, spots radiating from the visceral mass to the edge of the parapodia. The oral tentacles are very well developed, enlarged and leaf-like. The dorsal zone of the mantle also usually has large dark spots like those inside the parapodia. The anal siphon is highly developed. The rhinophores, as in other species of sea hares, are auriculate. The spermatic groove is very visible and stands out as a dark line from the right anterior edge of the mantle to somewhere ahead the rhinophore of the same side. The shell is completely covered by the dorsal mantle and there is no dorsal foramen. The foot is wide and slightly darker than the body color.
Aplysia dactylomela lives in rocky or sandy shallow waters and in intertidal pools with an abundance of algae. It has also been observed in more depth, up to 40 m. Like all sea hares they are herbivorous and has a voracious appetite, feeding on a wide range of red algae of the genera Corallina, Laurencia, Acanthophora, Centroceras and Gracilaria or green algae like Ulva and Cladophora. Due to the structure of the parapodia, unfused on the rear end, it is capable of swimming movements. When specimens are abruptly disturbed they are able to segregate a reddish defensive fluid from some glands in the mantle. Like all sea hares, this species is a simultaneous hermaphrodite and when mating several individuals can copulate in chain. The spawn is like a scrambled cord with lots of eggs that can be yellow, pink or purple.
- Aplysia. From greek word for “dirty”, “unwashed”.
- Dactylomela. Composed word of Greek origin, “Dactylo” from the word for “ring” and “Mela” from the word for “black”: “Black rings”.
Although it was thought that this species had a very wide circumtropical distribution, having been reported in almost all warm waters and tropical seas of the world, according to the work (Alexander & Valdés, 2013) findings from the Pacific and Indian Oceans of A.dactylomela are actually A.argus. Thus, the distribution of A.dactylomela covers from the Cape Verde archipelago (which are the type specimens of the species), the Caribbean and around the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida, Bermuda, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Senegal and the Canary islands. It has recently been found in the Mediterranean Sea, with reports from Israel, the island of Malta, Sicily, the Greek islands and in Croatia, where it has proven it can reproduce. It has recently been found in the Balearic Islands (Cap d’en Font, Menorca, 05/25/2016 by Joop Werson [GROC]) and Catalonia (Cala Secains, Sant Feliu de Guixols, 06/20/2016 by Xavier Salvador [GROC] and Es Caials, Cadaqués, Girona, Spain 18/08/2016 by Àlex Bartolí) in what are the first reports for Spain and Catalonia.
| : OBIS|
: GROC 2010-2011
: Enric Madrenas
: João Pedro Silva
: Bernard Picton
| : OPK|
: Manuel Ballesteros.
: M@re Nostrum
: Altres fonts
: Marine Regions
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- Florent's Tropical Reef Life Identification Guides
- Gary and David's world of Nudibranchs!
- Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera
- M@re Nostrum
- MedSlugs (Atl.E)
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- NCBI GenBank
- OBIS - Search by Taxon
- Okinawa SlugSite
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- Sea Slug Forum
- Sea Slugs Guadeloupe
- Sea Slugs of Hawaii (Aplysia argus)
- SeaSlug Photo Collection
- South-west Indian Ocean Seaslugs
- The SlugSite
- World Register of Marine Species
- Yasuhiro's Sea Slugs
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