Shell of the Week: The Prea Sea Slug
The Prea Sea Slug, Sclerodoris prea (Ev. Marcus & Er. Marcus, 1967) is a nudibranch gastropod mollusk that measures about 40 mm (about 1.5 inch). Nudibranchs are shell-less sea slugs that bear their respiratory organs, the “gills”, externally (the term Nudibranchia is a combination of the Latin word for naked, nudus, and the Greek word for gills, branchia.) Although I don’t know this for a fact, it is very likely that zoologists Eveline and Ernest Marcus named the species after another animal, the Brazilian Guinea Pig, Cavia aperea Erxlenben, 1777, or, in Brazilian general language, preá. The 1.5-inch slug was found by Lorin Buckner on seagrass flats near the Sanibel Causeway.
The Prea Sea Slug, Sclerodoris prea. Photo by José H. Leal.