Small Sea Hares from the Canary Islands

April 24, 2008
From: Alejandro Escanez Perez

Could you please indicate me the species or genus to whom it belong? Sea Hare? Oxynoe?  I believe it is not a common species in the Canary Island. thanks.

Locality: Sea side Tenerife Island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1 metres, Canary Islands, Spain, Atlantic, 07 September 2007, Specimen found by the sea side. Depth 1m on green algae ( Enteromorpha and other green algae). Length: 7 centimetres. Photographer: Alejandro Escanez Perez.

Alejandro Escanez Perez

Escanez,A., 2008 (Apr 24) Small Sea Hares from the Canary Islands. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Alejandro,

This is a small Sea Hare. I suspect it is Petalifera petalifera but I am afraid that that species, and others in that and related genera, have been very confused in the scientific literature. Ortea & Martínez (1991) have reviewed this group in the Canary Islands, but I don't think they have correctly identified all their species.

I really can't say much more at this stage. Have a look at the Fact Sheets and messages on other species of Petalifera, Phyllaplysia and Dolabrifera to get an idea of the extent of the problem.

  • Ortea, J.A. & Martínez, E. (1991) El Orden Anaspidea (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) en las Islas Canarias. Rev. Acad. Canar. Cienc.,. 3(4): 87-107.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2008 (Apr 24). Comment on Small Sea Hares from the Canary Islands by Alejandro Escanez Perez. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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