Aplysia extraordinaria? from Townsville

August 7, 2003
From: Adam Coxhead

My friend and I found a group of sea hares (about 10 or so) which I think are Aplysia extraordinaria in Ross River, Townsville, Queensland. The site was about 8 kms away from the river's mouth. Is it unusual to find these animals so far away from the ocean? They were all about 15-30cm long.
Thanks for any information,


Coxhead, A., 2003 (Aug 7) Aplysia extraordinaria? from Townsville. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10671

Dear Adam,
Where Sea Hares live is more dependent on the salinity of the water rather than the distance from the open sea. Many Sea Hares live in coastal lagoons, mangroves, aquaculture ponds etc, so I guess that where you found these animals is a tidal part of the Ross River with little, if any, dilution from freshwater.

Concerning your identification. It would be interesting to see photos of your animals, and any information on whether it swims or not. Most records of this species suggest it has a southeastern Australian - nthn New Zealand distribution, although we do have a record of Julie Marshall's of one from Heron Island at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. It is also probable that Aplysia gigantea from Western Australia, is the same species, and that records from other parts of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific are of the same species. So any further information on its possible distribution would be of interest.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Aug 7). Comment on Aplysia extraordinaria? from Townsville by Adam Coxhead. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10671

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