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  • José H. Leal

The Atlantic Black Sea Hare

The Atlantic Black Sea Hare, Aplysia morio (A.E. Verril, 1901) is a dark-colored, large (up to 40 cm, or 16 inches) sea slug (a gastropod mollusks without an external shell) that presents the typical, wing-like parapodia and internal shell characteristic of the genus Aplysia. Sea hares are active swimmers, using their parapodia to perform wing-like motions. They are voracious macro-herbivores, consuming large quantities of seaweed around the daily. Their eggs are laid in long, gelatinous, strings that form tangled masses. The species may be distinguished from the Mottled Sea Hare, Aplysia fasciata Poiret, 1789 by, among other features, the darker coloration and larger size. The sea hare in the photo was collected in early 2017 on Sanibel, Florida, and maintained in captivity by R. Mensch.

The Atlantic Black Sea Hare, Aplysia morio, and its egg string, from Sanibel. Photo by José H. Leal.

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