Aplysia morio from Florida

May 9, 2001
From: Kay Warren

While walking in the ocean off Key West, Florida, we came upon this creature that resembled a snail without a shell. It was dark brown and when I tried to pick it up with a board, it released a red fluid type substance. I managed to get in up on the board so I could get a closer look at it. It had something like a ruffley skirt type thing around the whole bottom and the horns like a snail or slug. I released it back and then found even more of them. The water was only about 2 feet deep, it was February of 2000. Was I looking at a sea slug?

Thank you!
Kay Warren

kwarren@lcp2.net

Warren, K., 2001 (May 9) Aplysia morio from Florida. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4286

Dear Kay,
Yes your animal was a sea slug called a Sea Hare and was almost certainly a species called Aplysia morio which is found in Florida. Have a look at the page on Aplysia brasiliana which is also found in Florida. The red fluid you mention is exuded by many Sea Hares when stressed, but we don't really understand its true function.

I am not sure if you are familiar with the Forum, but if you click on any of the underlined words you will go to a relevant page. On each 'page' there is an introductory section and below that are relevant messages arranged chronologically. It's worth having a look through these messages because there is usually a lot more information there.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2001 (May 9). Comment on Aplysia morio from Florida by Kay Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/4286

Factsheet

Aplysia morio

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