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Worldwide in tropical to warm temperate waters.
UPPER & LOWER LEFT: Long Reef, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, December 1995, 12cm long alive. LOWER RIGHT: Koumac, New Caledonia, October 1993, 13cm long alive. Specimen showing colour variation with relatively thin black lines and rings. PHOTOS: Bill Rudman.
Characterised by relatively tough, leathery parapodia and large dark or black rings, and blackish reticulate lines. Black markings on both the outside and inside of the parapodia.
See Sea Hare - defence for a picture of A. dactylomela 'inking'. See also message below for a picture of an animal from the Bahamas.
See the General Topics List for more information on Sea Hares.
See Mating Chains
• Rang, S. (1828). Histoire naturelle des Aplysiens, prèmiere famille de l'ordre des Tectibranches. 84pp., Plates 1-24. In: Férussac, D., Histoire naturelle generale et particuliere des Mollusques. Firmin Didot: Paris.
Rudman, W.B., 1999 (April 19) Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/aplydact
Aplysia dactylomela from Canary Islands
March 3, 2010
From: Claudia Stoll
I have found a spezies of a seahare on the South-West-Coast of Teneriffe (24th of March, 2008) in a little pool on the rocks of Playa de la Arena.
I suspect, it is Aplysia dactylomela. The length of the animal was about 30cm.
And I was able to make a very nice video of the seahare! Here is the link to a little part of my video in youtube:
Locality: Teneriffa, Playa de la arena, in a little pool on the beach/rocks, Spain, Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean, 24. March 2008. Length: 30 cm. Photographer: Claudia Stoll.
And now my question is: Do you know, what the seahare is doing on this video? Is it eating? I need your help, because I`ll make a professional video film with underpin statements.
Thank you for your answer and best regards!
email@example.comStoll, C., 2010 (Mar 3) Aplysia dactylomela from Canary Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/23288
Snails and sea slugs often crawl upside down along the surface of pools. However the surface tension can only support reasonably small animals so large Sea Hares usually don't succeed. In a shallow pool like this your Sea Hare has its front half twisted upside down attempting to crawl along the surface of the pool while its back half is still on the bottom. In you video the mouth is going through its feeding movements. Often when small opisthobranchs are successfully crawling upside down in a pool their mouths rhythmically open and shut as though they are grazing. Whether they are attempting to graze or just 'going through the motions' I couldn't say, but as I have seen hydroid-feeding aeolids and sponge-feeding dorids doing it, I suspect it is just a reflex action.
However the water surface can be a good source of food. When the water is coming in after low tide we often find large amounts of dried organic matter floating on the water surface. Some intertidal brittle stars [ophiuroid echinoderms] feed almost exclusively by waving their arms over the surface to collect this dried organic material. It's possible your Sea Hare was doing the same, but it is unlikely, as they prefer red and brown macro algae.
Aplysia dactylomela from Montego Bay, Jamaica
November 13, 2009
From: Semra Halabi
Hi i wonder if anyone could help us.
We have just got back from our holiday in Jamaica, One lovely morning while taking my baby down on the beach we came across the 2 things thinking they were jelly fish. I scooped them up in my babies bucket so my baby wouldn't get stung (they looked dead ) so i threw them back into the sea 10 minutes later they were back again so i scooped them back up and took them to my husband to show him what we found so he could go deeper near to the corals to release them later, my husband told me when he released them they grew double there size and looked like they had wings.
Locality: Montego bay, on the beach, Jamaica, 22 october 2009, clear water. Length: 1 - 2 inches. Photographer: Semra Halabi
Could any one tells us what they are and were they dangerous.
firstname.lastname@example.orgHalabi, S., 2009 (Nov 13) Aplysia dactylomela from Montego Bay, Jamaica. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22774
Your animal is a Sea Hare. Use the menu list on the top left of the page to have a look at the General Topics for a list of links to information on this group of sea slugs. You will see that Sea Hares ofte have wing-like flaps on the side of their bodies which in some species are used for swimming. Your species is Aplysia dactylomela, which has large black rings on its skin. These balck rings are particularly noticeable in Caribbean animals.
Sea Hares do not sting or bite, and so are essentially harmless. There is one large species in Western Australia, A. gigantea, which sometimes washes up on beaches. We don't know why, but dogs who bite these washed up sea hares can sometimes be badly poisoned, apparently by something in the slug's skin. However I know of no other reports around the world of a Sea Hare being blamed for anything untoward.
Aplysia dactylomela from sthn Queensland
February 3, 2009
From: Gary Cobb
Concerning message #20921:
Hi Bill and everyone!
May I present to you a very pale version of Aplysia dactylomela found intertidal at Woody Point. The animal has very distinct rings and opaque white spots. When disturbed it would open it's parapodia wings but did not take flight. Interestingly when the wings were open exposing the shell, the area has raised white lumps which I have never seen before.
The body is somewhat translucent and there is no green colouration at all.
In the photos the animal is on the weed on which it was found.
Locality: Woody Point, Red Cliffe Peninsula, 100 mm, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 12 August 2008, Intertidal. Length: 40 m. Photographer: David Mullins.
email@example.comCobb, G.C., 2009 (Feb 3) Aplysia dactylomela from sthn Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22212
It is surprising to see a 10 cm long specimens of A. dactylomela with such a delicate 'look'. Usually by this size they have a more leathery and opaque appearance.
Aplysia dactylomela? from South Africa
October 27, 2008
From: Daleen Loest
We have encountered this seaslug in a rockpool at under mentioned location.We have been vacationing here for the previous 20 years and this is the first time that we've seen them.The photo was taken when one was stranded on a rocky ledge as the tide receded.We gently placed it in the water whereupon it spurted out the bright pink ink.There were about 5 of them in these rockpools at any given time, accompanied by 3 other slugs whom have the same form and size, but was dappled with shades of brown.We've observed them continously for about 5 days whereafter we haven't seen them again.
Locality: East London,30 km south at Kidd's Beach, 10 cm to 50 cm, South Africa, Easter Cape Coast, Indian Ocean, 30 December 2005, rockpools, sandy bottom. Length: 10 cm. Photographer: Daleen Loest.
firstname.lastname@example.orgLoest, D., 2008 (Oct 27) Aplysia dactylomela? from South Africa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20536
If you look carefully at the enlarged photo alongside I hope you can see some very small black rings with a white centre in the dark grey patches. That would normally indicate that this is a color form of Aplysia oculifera which has tiny rings like this. However the parapodial flaps look thick, leathery, and are not very folded, which is quite unlike that species. I suspect this is an extreme colour form of Aplysia dactylomela. Both species occur in southern Africa and have a long history of being mixed up in South African publications, so I could just be joining the confusion, but in extreme colour forms of these two species I think the general body shape is a better indicator of identity than the size of the black rings.
If you want to know more about these animals, you will find a whole list of relevant pages, including one on their spectacular ink, under 'Sea Hares ' in the General Topics List.
Re: Aplysia dactylomela from Canary Ids
October 21, 2008
From: Obdulia Cabrera Hernández
Concerning message #12448:
Could you help me, please? I have seen this Aplysia in the west coast of Fuerteventura, Canary Island, located in the intertidal rock pools, and would like to know the ID. Thanks
Locality: Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, intertidal rock pools, Spain, Atalntic Ocean, 15 Octuber 2008, Intertidal rock pools. Length: 12 cm. Photographer: Obdulia Cabrera Hernández.
Obdulia Cabrera Hernández
Hernández, O.C., 2008 (Oct 21) Re: Aplysia dactylomela from Canary Ids. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21979
This is definitely a species of Aplysia but it is not a familar colour form. Although there are no real signs of black rings on it I suspect it is a dark form of Aplysia dactylomela. There are two or three records of this species from the Canary Islands on the Forum but none of them look quite like your animal. However since none of the other species of Aplysia recorded from the Canary Islands look like this either, I think we shoulf wait for some confirmation, or opinion, from someone familiar with this fauna
Aplysia dactylomela egg masses from the Mediterranean
August 12, 2008
From: Antonello Greco
Concerning message #21693 about Aplysia dactylomela on your forum. As you know, two years ago I found a lot of specimens in Giardini Naxos (eastern Sicily) [message #17347 ] and wrote a paper about these findings (including the laying of the egg masses). Some months later I found some specimens in "Isola Bella", in Taormina, a few miles away from Giardini Naxos. Some days ago I found some specimens even in Syracuse 100 kilometers South of Giardini Naxos.
About the egg masses, several times I found them in the field even during the laying. I always found them purple color. I think it can depend on the diet.
I send you two attached photos.
- Greco A., 2006. Segnalazione di Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828 (Opisthobranchia: Aplysiidae) per il Mar Ionio (Sicilia orientale, Taormina). Bollettino Malacologico, 42 (9-12): 125-128.
email@example.comGreco, A., 2008 (Aug 12) Aplysia dactylomela egg masses from the Mediterranean. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21787
Thanks for these photos. I think if I had seen this coloured eggs in the Indo-West Pacific I would have remembered. They are a spectacular colour. Even the pink-red eggs in Vinicius Padula's photos from Brazil [#21695] are quite unlike those from the Pacific I hope this sparks an interest in the topic. Just how multi-coloured are the eggs of Aplysia dactylomela and even allowing for colour change during development, do those from the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific show a basic difference in colour?
Re: Aplysia dactylomela and its egg-mass
July 10, 2008
From: Vinicius Padula
Concerning message #21693:
Dear Bill and Fabio,
I´m sending pictures of a Brazilian specimen of Aplysia dactylomela laying eggs. The eggs are pink/red, not purple. However, you can see in my other message [#21696 ] the variation of egg mass color of Aplysia fasciata.
I´m pretty sure that I have seen a purple Aplysia eggmass here, but I can´t find the picture.
Locality: Conchas Beach, intertidal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Western Atlantic. Photographer: Vinicius Padula.
As Bill commented, the color change depends on the time of the development. However, it is interesting to check the these variations and also the size of the capsules, eggs, larvae etc.... I believe this can be very informative in these "species" with a wide geographic distribution.
firstname.lastname@example.orgPadula, V., 2008 (Jul 10) Re: Aplysia dactylomela and its egg-mass. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21695
It's funny how often it is the common things we never seem to record. When I think of how many Aplysia egg masses I have seen in the field and in aquaria, I have very few notes on the topic. I don't recall seeing pink/red or purple coloured eggs associated with A. dactylomela in the Pacific so it is certainly something we should take note of in the future.
As you say, size of eggs and type of development could give us valuable clues into whether these apparently circumglobal species are really one species or not. I am not so sure how much help colour will be but I guess until we get better information on the topic we will never know.
Re: Aplysia dactylomela and its egg-mass
July 10, 2008
From: Fabio Crocetta
Concerning message #21693:
- Greco A., 2006. Segnalazione di Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828 (Opisthobranchia: Aplysiidae) per il Mar Ionio (Sicilia orientale, Taormina). Bollettino Malacologico, 42 (9-12): 125-128.
On the other hand after its first finding in Lampedusa (Trainito photobook -see message #14287) I've found another paper on the presence of Aplysia dactylomela in the Italian Seas that is:
Scuderi D. & Russo G.F., 2005. Prima segnalazione di Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828 e probabile presenza di Syphonota geographica (Adams & Reeve, 1850) (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia: Anaspidea) per le acque del Mediterraneo. Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 12(1): 338-341.
But they don't report about egg masses.
email@example.comCrocetta, F., 2008 (Jul 10) Re: Aplysia dactylomela and its egg-mass. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21694
Thanks for the references. Records of Aplysia dactylomela from the Mediterranean were noted on the Forum in 2005, and the presence of Syphonota geographica three years earlier [message #8637]. It is good to add these references for background information.
Re: Aplysia dactylomela and its egg-mass
July 9, 2008
From: Fabio Crocetta
Concerning message #12375:
Purple egg-masses of Aplysia dactylomela were also photographed and reported in a paper written by Antonello Greco about the record of Aplysia dactylomela at Giardini Naxos (Taormina, Italy). It's strange to see how the color of egg masses could be so variable:
purple [message #12375] and white [#18159]
A couple of sibling species? Or the colour of egg-masses in Aplysia spp. is not diagnostic?
firstname.lastname@example.orgCrocetta, F., 2008 (Jul 9) Re: Aplysia dactylomela and its egg-mass. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21693
I can find Antonello Greco's message on the Forum [#17347] but that doesn't mention a purple egg mass. It would be valuable if you could provide us with a full reference to the paper please.
Concerning egg colour in sea hares. The colour changes during the development of the eggs in a single egg mass [see Fact Sheet on Larval development in Aplysia oculifera]. In quite a few species the eggs are a pale yellow, cream or pink when they are deposited and darken in colour to orange-brown before hatching. I have also seen green eggs but never this bright purple colour. Perhaps someone else has observations to add? I have seen a lot of A. dactylomela eggs from the Indo-West Pacific but I am pretty sure I would have remembered seeing purple eggs. It would be interesting to know if anyone else has records of purple eggs from anywhere.
Aplysia dactylomela from Rhodes, Greece
July 1, 2008
From: Adam Gill
Concerning message #21413:
Just back from Rhodes, Greece and in St Pauls Bay (near Lindos) I saw three Aplysia dactylomela in one day). First time I've seen them in the Med.
Locality: St Pauls Bay, Rhodes, 2 m, Greece, Mediterranean Sea, 29 June 2008, rocks and sand. Length: 25 cm
email@example.comGill. A., 2008 (Jul 1) Aplysia dactylomela from Rhodes, Greece. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21661
Yes it seems to be a very recent arrival in the Mediterranean
Re: Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands
March 6, 2008
From: Stanley Ramsell
Concerning message #17374:
My wife and I went rock pooling while on holiday when close to the shore we saw two of these sea slugs which we found very interesting, we went back to the same place for a couple of days and they were still in the same spot. This is the first time we have seen a sea slug. Is it Aplysia dactylomela ?
Locality: Pueto Sanitago, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean, 28th Febuary, Clear Water, depth 30 cm. Length: 6 Inches. Photographer: Stanley Ramsell.
firstname.lastname@example.orgRamsell,S, 2008 (Mar 6) Re: Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21413
Thanks for the photo. I am glad you have found your first sea slug and I hope it won't be your last. Although this is quite a common Sea Hare its distribution around the world is quite intersting - and still a bit of a puzzle. It is common in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans and is also quite well known in the Caribbean and Atlantic Islands along the west coast of Africa. What is very surprising is that it had never been recorded from the Mediterranean until about 2002 [see message #14287]. Why did it take so long to get there and are the Mediterranean ones immigrants from the Atlantic or have they travelled through the Suez Canal as lessepsian migrants?
Re: Sea hare from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
October 10, 2007
From: Gary Cobb
Concerning message #20861:
Hi Bill and everyone!
The Sea Hare that Aimee found is Aplysia dactylomela. It is the only large common Sea Hare I have found here on the Sunshine Coast. The telltale give away is the black tail.
Locality: Sunshine Coast near Mooloolaba, 100 mm, Queensland, Australia, Pacific Ocean, 09 October 2007, Intertidal. Length: 180 mm. Photographer: Gary Cobb.
email@example.comCobb, G.C., 2007 (Oct 10) Re: Sea hare from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20921
There is not enough detail in Aimee's photos to be sure of the species, from the photos alone but I am sure from your local knowledge that you are right. We tend to think of large black rings when we mention A. dactylomela, but a quick look at earlier messages on the Forum, shows how the rings can be very small in some individuals. The black patch on the posterior part of the foot is a good indicator, if present, but it is not always present. Another character of A. dactylomela which distinguishes it from many other species, is that the body wall and parapodia are thicker - almost leathery to touch, rather than the thin and 'squashy' feel of most Aplysia.
I couldn't resist including your lower photo although it doesn't show much anatomical detail. It looks more like a dog swimming than a slow moving 'sluggish' sea hare. I guess the true interpretation is that it is holding on with grim determination as the current tries to wash it away
Sea hare from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
October 9, 2007
From: Aimee Richer
Hello, just wondering if anyone can tell me what type of sea slug this is? I saw it at the sunshine coast a couple of weeks ago. My dad thought it was a blue ringed octopus because of the markings and it has a dark Magenta ink.
Locality: Rock pool, Beach, 1 foot, Mooloolaba, QLD, 17 September 2007, Clear clean cool water. Length: 20cm. Photographer: Aimee.
firstname.lastname@example.orgRicher, A.F., 2007 (Oct 9) Sea hare from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20861
Note added 10 October 2007: This Aplysia dactylomela. See message #20921.
I can't see enough in your photos to be sure what species you have found, but it is definitely a sea hare. If you go to the General Topics list on the menu bar at the top left side of the page, you will find a number of pages devoted to various aspects of sea hare natural history. For example you will find a page there on the purple ink they produce
Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands
September 28, 2007
From: Mikkel Andersen
I was walking along the rocky beaches of the Canary Islands when I came across this seaslug.. I have looked thru the species list, but have'nt been able to identify it..
Locality: Tenerife Sur, Canary Islands, 35 cm, Spain, Atlantic Ocean, 24 september 2007, Reef w/ sand. Length: 20 cm. Photographer: Mikkel Andersen.
email@example.comAndersen, M. A. F., 2007 (Sep 28) Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20840
The large black rings are a sure sign that this is Aplysia dactylomela. Have a look at my comments [#16880] about an earlier find of this species from the Canary Islands.
Aplysia brasiliana in eastern Mediterranean?
August 27, 2007
From: Gilbert Jaux
I think I have found Aplysia brasiliana while diving in Greece. I took these photographs because it is the first time that I have seen this this species. I have dived in this place for 30 years and I was astonished to see this Aplysia. Can you assure me that it is Aplysia brasiliana?
Locality: KALAMAKI, 2 metres, MESSINIAS - GREECE, MEDITERRANEE, 20 July 2007, Plongée en apnée. Length: 300 mm. Photographer: Gilbert JAUX.
firstname.lastname@example.orgJaux, G, 2007 (Aug 27) Aplysia brasiliana in eastern Mediterranean?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20543
This is a sea hare, but it is Aplysia dactylomela which is a recent arrival into the Mediterranean. Have a look at the earlier messages on the Forum about this species in the Mediterranean. The puzzle is where did it came from? - the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean? and why has it taken until about 2002 for it to arrive there?
Re: Feeding studies on Aplysia in Malaysia
July 20, 2007
From: Corvin Eidens
Concerning message #20078:
Some of the small ones are now almost 10 cm. We feed them with currently with Gracilaria. Do you know anyone who knows about Aplysia in Malaysia?
I found an egg mass two days ago and the Aplysia are mating a lot! Do they die after laying eggs? Can I raise them? I think it will be hard because of the planktonic larvae and the flow through system! And I need micro algae for feeding to them.
I tried to get in contact with Prof. Klussmann.Kolb from Germany. She wrote that nice article Phylogeny of the Aplysiidae (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia) with new aspects of the evolution of seahares and hopefully she can may help me.
Here are some more pics!
Eidens, C., 2007 (Jul 20) Re: Feeding studies on Aplysia in Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20249
The upper photo is clearly of Aplysia dactylomela. If it is a photo of one of the juveniles you sent photos of before, it is a nice demonstration of growth in the species. Aplysia dactylomela has a thicker more leathery skin than many other species, including A. oculifera, which was the reason I was not 100% sure they were all A. oculifera in your earlier message. What I am not sure about now is the bottom photo - is it a photo from before of one of the juvenile A. dactylomela or another species?
So you definitely have A. oculifera and A. dactylomela. Hopefully they are not interbreeding or my reputation will be destroyed! It's possible they will breed for weeks or even months, but eventually, probably within a year, they will die. I am sorry I can't suggest an expert on tropical species of Aplysia for you. I am sure Annette Klussmann-Kolb will help you if she can but I am not sure if her expertise extends to keeping generations alive in aquaria. All I know is that A. dactylomela seems to prefer partcular red algae [see message #9154]
Aplysia dactylomela from Sabah, Malaysia
June 19, 2007
From: Richard Swann
I was looking through all the old posts on Aplysia dactylomela after finding what i think is one today and noticed that you have no records on the forum from my area.
Locality: Mamutik island,Kota Kinabalu, 9 meters, Sabah, Borneo, South China Sea, 04 June 2007, Sandy rubble slope, in current. Length: 25-30 cm. Photographer: Richard Swann.
I guess it is no surprise as i know their distribution is wide but still nice to have a confirmed sighting. We seldom see them here so i was over the moon when one turned up today. Sorry for the poor quality shots but my 105mm lens was not suited to this monster slug !
email@example.comSwann, R., 2007 (Jun 19) Aplysia dactylomela from Sabah, Malaysia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19986
Although the black rings are quite small for this species, there is no mistaking it for anything else. I suspect the reason we don't have good photos of many large Sea Hares is that sea slug fanciers use 105 mm lenses or something similar. I guess you should buddy with a fish photographer - but as a rule they tend to get bored quite quickly if you spend too much time at one spot looking for small things
Big sea hares on Mexican beach
April 2, 2007
From: Benjamin Fisher
My girlfriend and I were vacationing in Cozumel, which is an island off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. We were walking on the beach, where an estuary lets out into a salty lagoon connected to the ocean. We noticed 4 sea hares washed up on the beach that were still alive but obviously dying. They were about 15 cm long and 5 cm wide. They had an olive green colour with black circles about 1 cm wide randomly placed on their surface. They secreted purple ink when touched. Flaps af skin partly folded over their back but did not cover what appeared to be feathery gills on their back like a nudibranch (seen laying to the side of lower image). Their underside faded into a darker rust colour. The water they were in was calm like a lake and there were no storms that week that might have washed them up. Do you know what they are and why they were on the beach?
Locality: North side of Cozumel Island, 1-2 cm, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Caribbean, 22 March 2007, Intertidal mangrove discharge, sandy with some grass. Length: 15 cm. Photographer: Ben Fisher.
firstname.lastname@example.orgFisher, B.A., 2007 (Apr 2) Big sea hares on Mexican beach. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/19788
This is Aplysia dactylomela. It's often difficult to know why animals like this are dying, but at 15 cm, they are probably reaching 'old age'. Another possibility, in shallow lagoonal situations like this, is that high temperatures and shallow water can warm the water up and lower the oxygen available - but both ideas are just guesses. If you look at the General Topics List you will find a section on sea hares. Have a look there for more information on Sea Hares including a page on the mantle cavity and gills etc.
Re: Feeding preference of Aplysia dactylomela
November 27, 2006
From: Baki Yokes
Concerning message #5517:
Dear Bill and Patricia,
I found a chance to examine what Aplysia dactylomela is eating in the Mediterranean. On Eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey we have an established population now. Most of them are dark red in colour, most probably due to the red alga, Laurencia sp.(Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta), which constitutes the main part of their diet.
Locality: Iskenderun, 1 m, Turkey, Mediterranean Sea, 2 November 2005, Rocky. Length: 18-20 cm. Photographer: Baki Yokes.
I have published a paper about the Turkish records
- Yokes, M.B. (2006) Aplysia dactylomela: an alien opisthobranch in the Mediterranean. JMBA2 - Biodiversity Records. Published online
which is available at the following address.
email@example.comYokes, M.B., 2006 (Nov 27) Re: Feeding preference of Aplysia dactylomela. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/18567
Thanks for the reference. Your animals certainly have a pinkish tinge. It would be interesting to konw what would happen if you fed some solely on Ulva or Enteromorpha. If they lost their pinkish tinge and and became a more typical white colour, it would suggest they are taking up some of the red algal pigments.
Re: Feeding preference of Aplysia dactylomela
November 20, 2006
From: Philibert Bidgrain
Concerning message #5517:
Reunion Island sea slugs.
I found a population of about 10 to 30 Aplysia dactylomela in a lagoon on beach rock. They feed voraciously on this filamentous green algae.
Locality: Saint Gilles, 10 cm, Reunion Island, Indian ocean, 7 november 2006, lagoon. Length: 15 cm. Photographer: Philibert Bidgrain.
All the best
firstname.lastname@example.orgBidgrain, P., 2006 (Nov 20) Re: Feeding preference of Aplysia dactylomela. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/18376
It's intersting looking through the earlier messages on this species. Although I have noted various scientific studies suggesting it prefers red algae, there are also observations of it eating the green algae Ulva (sea lettuce) and green 'hair algae '. I would identify your filamentous green algae as Enteromorpha, which is closely related to Ulva. In fact I just read somewhere that some authors consider Enteromorpha to be a filamentous form of Ulva. So as I said in answer to an earlier message, Ulva or Enteromorpha would be a good food for this Aplysia in home aquaria. One side effect of eating only green algae would be that the sea hare would lose its ability to produce its red ink, the pigment of which is derived from red algae.
Aplysia dactylomela - eggs and larvae
November 6, 2006
From: Jacob, Tim & Mai
I have 2 sea hares (Aplysia sp.) in my 300 gallon set up, and one of them has layed a mass of eggs right under the over flow from the filter, which I think is very interesting because the eggs will get constant cleaned and oxegonated water, The Sea hare has layed the eggs on the morning of Oct-28-2006, and I don't know how long it will take them to hatch... I know that they will first be free floating larvae and feed in micro algae and micro organisms before they metamorphose into the sea hare they are... Do you know how long it will take for the eggs to hatch?
Locality: Palm Beach, 4 to 8 feet, Florida USA, Atlantic, 29 October 2006, rocky reef in Lantana Beach. Length: 7 inches. Photographer: Mai G..
GSMai@aol.comJacob, Tim & Mai, 2006 (Nov 6) Aplysia dactylomela - eggs and larvae. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/18159
Youe sea hare is Aplysia dactylomela. Have a look at an earlier message about keeping this species in aquaria [#14764]. They will probbaly take 10 -20 days to hatch, but the big problem is keeping the free swimming larvae alive and healthy. The phytoplankton they feed on are not usually present in aquaria, and getting the right plankton species and keeping them alive is a specialised task.
Aplysia dactylomela from Croatia
August 28, 2006
From: Tom Turk
Here is a photo of Aplysia dactylomela taken on a day dive on the rocky bottom covered with algae at the depth of approx 10 m. Location island Susac, Croatia, Adriatic sea. It is interesting that the specimen was found crawling over the Caulerpa racemosa also a lessepsian species in Mediterranean. Is it possible that the slug actually feed on Caulerpa?
Locality: Island Sušac, Adriatic sea, 10-12 m, Croatia, Adriatic, July, 2006, rocky gottom covered with algae. Length: 5, 8 and 20 cm. Photographer: Borut Furlan.
email@example.comTurk, T., 2006 (Aug 28) Aplysia dactylomela from Croatia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17598
As I have mentioned in earlier messages I am not sure whether A. dactylomela is a lessepsian species or a late arrival from the Atlantic. Considering it has been known from the Canary Islands for many years, an Atlantic origin would seems as likely as an Indian Ocean origin.
Concerning feeding on Caulerpa. I don't know of any records of any species of Aplysia feeding on Caulerpa and considering the vast beds of various Caulerpa species which occur in various parts of the world, I would have thought someone would have noticed, especially when some Caulerpa have become pests.
Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands
August 21, 2006
From: Christian Kowalewski
Aplysia dactylomela seems to be quite common here on Tenerife Island in the first 5 meters of depth. In this shallow sublittoral region it is often found on rocky terrain with a lot of different algae. I saw around 20 specimens all about 15 cm long, and this seems to be a usual occurrence.
Locality: Tenerife Island, Canary Islands, 3 meters, Spain, Atlantic Ocean, 03 May 2006, below intertidal zone, rocky but overgrown. Length: 15 cm. Photographer: Christian Kowalewski.
The other day I saw a curious thing - it looked like an Aplysia dactylomela copulating with a A. fasciata, but I couldn't take any picture because of the waves.
firstname.lastname@example.orgKowalewski, C J, 2006 (Aug 21) Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17374
When I commented on your Micromelo undata [message #17376] being one of those species which is found very close to the Mediterranean and yet not quite getting there, I also had A. dactylomela in mind. Until a few years ago A. dactylomela had never been reported from the Mediterranean, but now we regularly have sightings reported on the Forum from as far east as Turkey. It is certainly a puzzle why the species has apparently just arrived in the Mediterranean - and did it come from the Indian Ocean, via the Suez Canal, or from the Atlantic - perhaps from the Canary Islands?
Re: Aplysia dactylomela in Eastern Sicily
August 18, 2006
From: Andrea Corso
Concerning message #17357:
Just a few days ago in Crete, at Elounda and at Gavromous Bay, I saw a few individuals of this species
email@example.comCorso, A., 2006 (Aug 18) Re: Aplysia dactylomela in Eastern Sicily. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17498
Aplysia dactylomela in Eastern Sicily
August 7, 2006
From: Agatino Reitano
I saw eight specimens of Aplysia dactylomela when snorkeling in the Giardini Naxos Bay, very close to Taormina bay (Eastern Sicily, Messina).
All specimens were together into a fracture of a white rock. All specimens were yellow with black "eyes" on both side, only one with dark color.
Locality: Giardini Naxos, Messina, 1,5 meters, Sicily, Mediterranean sea, 04 august 2006, On rocks. Length: 20,30 cm. Photographer: Agatino Reitano.
firstname.lastname@example.orgReitano, A., 2006 (Aug 7) Aplysia dactylomela in Eastern Sicily. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17357
Thanks for this record. By chance I am posting another message today [#17347] of a recent sighting of A. dactyomela in Giardini Naxos Bay.
Aplysia dactylomela in Sicily
August 7, 2006
From: Antonello Greco
On the eastern coast of Sicily (Giardini Naxos) I recently found a specimen of Aplysia dactylomela, an alien species for Mediterranean Sea. After some days I found two other specimens of the same species. I found all of them in rocky substrates, covered by red algae (Corallina sp, Jania sp., Peyssonnelia sp), in shallow water (-1/-2 m.).
Locality: Giardini Naxos, Sicily, -2 m, Italy, Mediterranean Sea, 24 July 2006, rocky substrate. Length: 20 cm. Photographer: Antonello Greco.
The three specimens makes me think they were not occasional findings. So I collected some information about the biology of the species. I took some photos and some videos about the specimens I found, to document the finding. I also wrote a scientific article, hoping that it can be published as the first record for the Italian coasts. I think alien species should be monitored, because of the ecological consequences they could bring in places different from theirs.
Dr. Antonello Greco
email@example.comGreco, A., 2006 (Aug 7) Aplysia dactylomela in Sicily. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17347
Thanks for another record from the Mediterranean. If you have a look at the earlier messages on this species on the Forum [see Fact Sheet] you woll see we have quite a few Mediterranean records now, mostly from the eastern end, but the first record I know of was in Egidio Trainito's book where he photographed it at Lampedusa Island [between Malta and Tunisia] in 2002. The interesting puzzle is not so much how it got into the Meditteranean, but why it took so long getting there? It is a well known inhabitant of the Caribbean and has been reported long ago from the Canary Islands.
Aplysia dactylomela in Crete, Greece
August 4, 2006
From: Stig & Sus Andersson
When snorkelling in Greece, we saw this fascinating creature that we now, thanks to this website, have identified as Aplysia dactylomela. There were 2 sea hares, one climbing over the other (probably copulating).
Locality: The small harbour/beach in Stavros, north-north-east of Chania, 3 meters, Chania, Crete, Greece, Mediterranean, 29 July 2006, Sand. Length: 20-30 cm
Since this species, according to previous messages, has only newly been reported from the Mediterranean, we thought it might be good to give another report of location. Unfortunately there was no picture left in our underwater camera when we discovered them, so I have no pictures.
Stig & Sus Andersson
Stig.Andersson@farad.seAndersson, S, 2006 (Aug 4) Aplysia dactylomela in Crete, Greece. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/17324
Dear Stig & Sus,
Thanks for the record.
Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands
June 15, 2006
From: Paul Harwood
Whilst holidaying on Gran Canaria I saw several of these lovely little creatures patrolling the rock pools and low tide. I have searched the internet but have been unable to find out what they are
Locality: Beach, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Atlantic, 25 May 2006, rock pool. Length: 100 mm. Photographer: Paul Harwood
firstname.lastname@example.orgHarwood, P, 2006 (Jun 15) Aplysia dactylomela from the Canary Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/16880
This is the Sea Hare, Aplysia dactylomela. Have a look at the species fact Sheet and the accompanying messages for more information about the species. Have a look at the Sea Hare Fact Sheet for more information and links on Sea Hares.
Aplysia dactylomela is a very distinctively coloured species, with its black rings, and is found in both the tropical Indo-West Pacific and the tropical Atlantic, especially the Caribbean.. It was reported from the Canary Islands in 1932 (Odhner, 1932) [see also message #9979] and has long been known from the west coast of Africa. In fact it was first described from Cape Verde Islands by Rang in 1828. What is very surprising is that until very recently it had never been reported from the Mediterranean [see message #14287 ].
Aplysia dactylomela from Florida
April 13, 2006
From: Rose Ann Maly
Please be so kind to tell me what sort of creature I found on the beach that looks like a jellied toy football.
Locality: Singer Island, on beach, Florida, USA, Atlantic, 3 April 2006, sandy beach adjacent to Anastasia reef. Length: 8-10 inches long. Photographer: r. a. maly.
Rose Ann Maly
email@example.comMaly, R.A., 2006 (Apr 13) Aplysia dactylomela from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/16309
This is a Sea Hare called Aplysia dactylomela. This, to my knowledge is not a swimming species, but there are two swimming Sea Hares, A. morio and A. brasiliana which appear to be quite common in Florida at present.. Have a look at the Fact Sheets and attached messages for photos and information on those species. A. dactyomela is very recognisable from the large dark blackish rings on the body.
Aplysia dactylomela from Greece
February 27, 2006
From: Maria Salomidi
Concerning message #15107:
Hi. I found this Aplysia this January in Rhodos Island, Aegean Sea, Greece. I teased it a bit and it inked a deep purple. Browsing in your forum it struck me that it seems very much like an Aplysia extraordinaria.
Locality: Rhodos Island, 1metre, Greece, Mediterranean. Aegean Sea, 20 January 2006, rocky subtidal with photophilic vegetation. Length: about 25cm. Photographer: Maria Salomidi .
What do you think? Are there any records from it in Greece?
Thank you in advance.
firstname.lastname@example.orgSalomidi M., 2006 (Feb 27) Aplysia dactylomela from Greece. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/15942
Your animal is a sea hare, but it is Aplysia dactylomela, a species characterised by the black rings on its body. As you will see if you look at some of the earlier messages on this species [attached to Fact Sheet], this species has only recently been reported from the Mediterranean.
Aplysia dactylomela from Cyprus
October 17, 2005
From: Samantha Cooke
I'm not a big fan of things under the sea but I was keen to identify a squidgy thing I found in a beach in akrotiri cyprus. I think your site has helped me to do that although my slug is a different colour to yours it look very similar. Is it Aplysia dactylomela. I wouldn't mind learning more about it if you have some info.
Locality: Akrotiri, Cyprus. Mediterranean. on beach. Length: approx 8 inches. 30 september 05. sandy, crystal clear water. Photographer: Samantha Cooke
email@example.comCooke, S., 2005 (Oct 17) Aplysia dactylomela from Cyprus. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/15021
This is indeed Aplysia dactylomela. As you will see from other messages on the Forum [see message #14305] we now have a number of records of this species from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, suggesting this is a recent arrival in the Mediterranean. As it is found in both the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific, I can't really say whether it is a Lessepsian migrant through the Suez Canal or a late arrival from the Atlantic.
For more information on this species, have a look at the other messages attached to the bottom of the Fact Sheet. There is a lot of information spread through them. For more general information on Sea Hares see the link to Sea Hares in the General Topics List. As you will see there, producing purple ink is characteristic of many Sea Hares.
Aplysia dactylomela - keeping in aquarium
September 16, 2005
From: Jack Brown
Greetings from Alaska the Greatland.
Our local fish store has been selling the Sea Hare - Aplysia dactylomela for the past few years. They don't have any knowledge on how to feed it after it has cleaned up all the green hair algae in your home aquarium. They sell several per week because they do such an incredible job of cleaning up green hair algae. I know others have asked this question.... How can I supplement the diet of the sea hare? I've tried sheet algae and colerpa with negative results. I also believe that my large cleaner shrimp is severely stressing the sea hare by 'digging' at its back all the time. I really hate to see this creature in a constant slow death scenario... Any suggestions?
firstname.lastname@example.orgBrown, J., 2005 (Sep 16) Aplysia dactylomela - keeping in aquarium. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14764
In an earlier message [#9154] I referred to research that suggested that this species of sea hare preferred to eat particular red algae. But if it eats green 'hair algae' it obviously can survive on other algae. One report showed they would eat the green alga Ulva, commonly called Sea Lettuce, which may be what you call sheet algae? They do grow a little on Ulva but clearly it's not their preferred food. This is a problem in small aquaria, because red algae tend to produce some very nasty waste products which can poison the water. Only other suggestion would be to grow a tank of hair algae to feed the Aplysia.
Concerning the cleaner shrimp. All I can suggest is moving it to another tank
Aplysia dactylomela 'infant' from Bahamas
August 27, 2005
From: Anne DuPont
I thought you might enjoy seeing an Aplysia dactylomela "infant". I found this tiny one on sea grass (Thalassia testudinum) in a sandy patch. It's size was approximately 9 mm. The photograph was taken on February 22, 2005 in approximately 6 feet of water near Stocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas. This was the smallest one I found. I did find three others that were larger, 20 mm, 25 mm and 30 mm. They were found in algae (Batophora oerstedii ).
Delray Beach, FL
DuPont, A., 2005 (Aug 27) Aplysia dactylomela 'infant' from Bahamas. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14641
It's nice to know that at least one species of Aplysia is so easy to identify even as a juvenile. The black rings are a dead giveaway. It's interesting that at this small size it has adult body proportions. The only hint I can see that it is a juvenile, other than its size, is the quite large foramen through which the shell can be seen [see Sea hare mantle cavity]. In adult specimens of this species the foramen is usually tightly closed.
Another record of Aplysia dactylomela from Greece
August 11, 2005
From: Allan David
Concerning records of Aplysia dactylomela from Greece [message #14453 ]:
Whilst snorkeling off Stoupa Greece I saw this large slug between two rocks that was the first time,after that I saw another two at varying times, in different parts of the beach.
Locality: Stoupa, Greece, Ionian Sea. Depth: 1 M. Length: 200 mm. 13 - 17 July 2005. Rock & sandy bottom. Photographer: Allan David
David, A., 2005 (Aug 11) Another record of Aplysia dactylomela from Greece. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14517
Thanks for this sighting. It certainly appears that this species has arrived in the Mediterranean very recently. From the quick response from 'non-experts', it would seem to me that if A. dactylomela had been present in the fauna for any length of time, one of the many 'experts' in the region would have notice it.
Re: Aplysia dactylomela in the Eastern Mediterranean
August 1, 2005
From: Christopher Sweeting
This may perhaps be of interest in this discussion [message #14287] about Aplysia dactylomela from Greece.
I have just returned from my holiday in Rhodes, Greece and have been searching out the identity of a sea hare I spotted snorkelling. I came across the photographs included on these pages (unfortunately i have none of my own to add) which provide an excellent match.
The specimen I observed was measured rather unscientifically by a foot placed close by followed by restrospective measurement of the foot. I sized it at 28cm. If anyone has any contacts in the area I can give an accurate description of where I found it down to a few metres.
Locality: St Paul's Bay, Lindos, Greece. Mediterranean. Depth: 1-3 m. Length: 28 cm. 15 - 20th July 2005. lightly vegetated rock wall.
email@example.comSweeting, C., 2005 (Aug 1) Re: Aplysia dactylomela in the Eastern Mediterranean. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14453
Thanks for the record. It certainly seems to be a recnet arrival in the Mediterranean
Aplysia dactylomela in the Eastern Mediterranean
July 21, 2005
From: Baki Yokes
Concerning the message [#14287] about Aplysia dactylomela from Greece. If you remember, about a year ago we have been discussing about the identity of a big, white and highly calcified Aplysid shell which I had found in Antalya, Turkey, and the possibility of its being Aplysia dactylomela. The shell is very big compared to other Mediterranean species. I have not yet found a live individual yet, except just a few more shell fragments, but my cousin has photographed this species on a night dive in northern Cyprus. When the photos from Lampedusa and Greece are taken into consideration, it seems that, although it is rare, this species may show a wide distribution in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Locality [of live animals]: Girne, Northern Cyprus. Depth: 7 m. Length: about 20 cm. July 2004. Rocky substrate. Photographer: Fehmi Senok
Shell photos data:
A- Aplysia dactylomela shell: 30.75 mm, animal:??
B- Aplysia fasciata shell:7.25 mm, animal: 2.2cm
C- Aplysia parvulashell: 5.65 mm, animal: 3.4cm
D- Unidentified Aplysia sp. shell: 7.55 mm, animal: 6.5 cm
all of them were collected in Antalya, Turkey
firstname.lastname@example.orgYokes, M.B., 2005 (Jul 21) Aplysia dactylomela in the Eastern Mediterranean. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14305
Thanks for these photos. It certainly seems Aplysia dactylomela has arrived in the Mediterranean. I can't find any earlier Mediterranean records, and considering its unmistakeable colouring, it would surely have been noticed earlier if present. The pale colour pattern of the three records from the Mediterranean are similar to those of Atlantic specimens, so I guess their origin is more likely to be from the Atlantic than through the Suez Canal - but why now?
Aplysia dactylomela from Greece
July 20, 2005
From: Lucyna Sterniuk-Gronek
What a splendid animal! When I found it on Rhodos I thought that it was a visitor from the cosmos :)
Fortunately I found also your great site and was able to identify it as Aplysia dactylomela!
Locality: Rhodos, Greece, Aegean Sea. Depth: 10 cm. Length: 20 cm. 19 June 2005. Photographer: Lucyna Sterniuk-Gronek
I send you some photos and greetings!
Lucyna Sterniuk - Gronek (from Poland)
ps. Are there any sea slugs in our cold Baltic Sea?
Sterniuk-Gronek, 2005 (Jul 20) Aplysia dactylomela from Greece. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/14287
This is an interesting find. Although this species has been recorded from the western Atlantic and the Canary Ids, I can find only one record of it from the Mediterranean. In Egidio Trainito's recent book he photographed it at Lampedusa Island [between Malta and Tunisia] in 2002. So your find could be the second record of it from the Mediterranean.
There are indeed some beautiful slugs in the cold Baltic. If you look at the links page on the Forum you will see two websites for Norwegian nudibranchs which must be as cold, and also a website for Antarctic animals which is definitely colder
Aplysia dactylomela from Florida
May 7, 2005
From: Erik Sanders
Here are a couple of pics of Aplysia dactylomela I took in August of 2004 in Long Boat Key, Florida. Great color on these specimens.
Locality: Longboat Key, Florida. Gulf Of Mexico. Depth: strandline. Length: approx. 8 inches. early August.Photographer: Erik Sanders
email@example.comSanders, E., 2005 (May 7) Aplysia dactylomela from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13722
Is nice to get a sea hare other than A. morio and A brasiliana from Florida.
Sea Hares in Tenerife, Canary Ids
April 15, 2005
From: Steve Andrews
I have found many specimens of what I feel pretty certain are Aplysia dactylomela in the tidal pools on the beaches between Los Cristianios and Las Americas and also on the main beach at Las Galletas in Tenerife where I live. Yesterday I discovered a Sea Hare which was mainly a dark chocolate brown colour although it looked as if it was the same species as the others and was in the company of more of the A.dactylomela type. I am wondering if a dark brown variation is what this is and how frequently they are found?
Here is a photo of the normal type I find here and this one is sending out a cloud of ink.
Locality: Las Galletas, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Depth: 10 inches. Length: 8-10 inches. 26 March 2005. Intertidal rockpools. Photographer: Steve Andrews
firstname.lastname@example.orgAndrews, Steve, 2005 (Apr 15) Sea Hares in Tenerife, Canary Ids. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13445
The animal in the photo is indeed Aplysia dactylomela, which has a circumglobal distribution. I am afraid most species of Aplysia are difficult to identify from a good photo, si I wouldn't attempt to identify a 'dark chocolate brown' one without a photo. All I can say is that, unless there were black rings, it is unlikely to be A. dactylomela, even if it was found with them.
Aplysia dactylomela from St. Martin, West Indies
March 18, 2005
From: Danny Dawson
I found this Sea Slug in an intertidal region on the East Coast of St. Martin. It was really beautiful, but I wouldn't touch it for fear it might be poisonous. I think I've identified it from the Forum as Aplysia dactylomela:
Locality: Galleon Pond, St. Martin, FWI, Caribbean. Depth: 3-5 inches.
Length: about 3.5 inches. 8 March 2005. Intertidal, fist-sized rocks, a little mucky/slimy. Photographer: Danny Dawson
Dawson, D., 2005 (Mar 18) Aplysia dactylomela from St. Martin, West Indies. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/13350
Yes this is Aplysia dactylomela. I am quite interested in seeing this greenish animal with quite small black rings. In most of the photos I have seen of Caibbean animals, they are white with large black rings. It would be an interesting little experiment to see if the white animals were associated with areas where the background was white coral sand and the green animals were in areas with a darker, greener background. A good little exercise for a student field trip.
Sea Hares from Netherlands Antilles
March 17, 2004
From: Bob Murphy
On March 13 I was walking along Kim Sha Beach in Sint Maarten, in the Netherlands Antilles.
Two fat, oblong creatures washed up on the beach. If they had been roun, they would have been the size of a baseball. They were dark khaki (kind of tank-coloured), with dark spots, which were actually little circles. I tossed them back into the ocean. When I did so, one of them emitted lots of very dark purple ink. Can you tell me what they were?
email@example.comMurphy, R., 2004 (Mar 17) Sea Hares from Netherlands Antilles. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/12456
From the dark purple ink, your animals are Sea Hares, See also the page on their ink. The most likely species is Aplysia dactylomela, although its black rings are usually larger than you describe.
Aplysia dactylomela from Canary Ids
March 16, 2004
From: Tom + Jade
My partner and i have just returned from Fuerteventura, [Fuerteventura Island, Canary Ids].
We spotted these beautiful sea-slugs in a rock pool on the north shore of the island, very happy and very much alive. There was also a black one with exactly the same patterning on its body. They were just submerged in adjoining intertidal rock pools, both lying in small run-off channels back into the sea.
I scanned the species list but couldnt find anything resembling them. We are keen to find out what they are and some more about them.
Tom + Jade
firstname.lastname@example.orgTom + Jade, 2004 (Mar 16) Aplysia dactylomela from Canary Ids. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/12448
Dear Tom + Jade,
This is a Sea Hare and from its pale colour and black rings it can be identified as the Atlantic form of Aplysia dactylomela
Aplysia dactylomela and its egg-mass
March 10, 2004
From: Marina Poddubetskaia
I can see many