The Florida Regal Doris
One of the largest sea slugs found in Florida waters, Felimare picta (Philippi, 1836), is a beautifully colored species, displaying a pattern of bright-yellow lines against a navy-blue background. They can reach in excess of 50 mm (about 2 inches) in length. The structure on the back end of the sea slug is its gill, used for respiration under water. Florida Regal Doris are known to feed on sponges, and lay egg masses consisting of tens of thousands of orange-colored eggs embedded in a gelatinous support matrix.
The sea slug in the photo was collected a few years ago by a SCUBA diver off Fort Myers Beach, and was photographed in one of the Museum’s tanks, where it deposited its egg mass. Read more about local mollusks and their shells at the Museum's Shell Guide.