January 12, 2009
From: Kate Werner
I found this sea hare washed up on shore with lots of algae. I took it and put in tank but doesn't seem to be eating its algae. Help me with diet or should I return to sea?
Locality: Kailua Beach, washed up , Oahu, Hawaii, Pacific, 09 January 2009, sand beach. Length: 6 centimetres. Photographer: Kate Werner.
email@example.comWerner, K, 2009 (Jan 12) Re: Food of Aplysia from Hawaii. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/22142
Your photos aren't that clear but it looks like you have a sea hare. Sea hares do eat algae, but they are pretty choosy on which species they eat. Just because they were washed up at the same time as a lot of algae it doesn't necessarily mean they algae they washed up with is their food. Often it just means that the algae and the sea hares were caught up in the same storm. One fairly common algae that most species of Sea Hare like is the green algae Ulva, which is commonly called 'sea lettuce' because it looks quite like a leaf of lettuce from the garden.
However most algae is difficult to keep alive in aquaria, and as they die they exude very poisonous chemicals into the aquarium water. Unless you can find some Ulva to try - which appears to be aquarium safe - my advice would be to put the Sea Hare back in a rock pool at the beach
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