Spotted Sea Hare – Aplysia dactylomela


The Spotted Sea Hare is a species in the family of the Aplysiidae and thus belongs to the class of the Gastropoda.

Spotted Sea Hare - Aplysia dactylomela Gastropoda diving canary islands atlantic ocean canaries species
Spotted Sea Hare – Aplysia dactylomela

Description

Aplysia dactylomela has a long-stretched body, the shape of which resembles an American football. Its colour is white with black curls. It reaches a maximum size of 25cm in length.

Habitat and Distribution

The Spotted Sea Hare lives in shallow water, on rocky ground with algae growth. When diving in the Canaries you can often observe it. In addition, it has a so-called circumtropical distribution. That means, it is common in all tropical and subtropical seas and oceans. This includes the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and the Red Sea.

Biology

Aplysia dactylomela feeds on red and green algae. When touching, it shoots out a cloud of violet ink.
They are hermaphroditic and propagation takes place in pairs or in rows of several individuals. After fertilization they submit a spawning cord with eggs in the form of a jelly-like tube.