Aplysia dactylomela mating chain. PHOTO: Alison Miller.
Sea Hares, like all sea slugs, are hermaphrodite animals with fully functional male and female reproductive organs. Sometimes, usually in dense populations or in crowded aquariums, they form mating chains of three or more animals, the one at the front acting solely as a female and the one at the rear solely as a male. The animal(s) in between are acting as both males and females.
See messages below.
See also Michael Mrutzek's message [#8036] of a mating chain of the cephalaspidean Chelidonura livida, and Wannapa Thammasangwan's photo [#16512] of C. punctata.
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (May 8) Mating chains. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/seahmat
The Aplysia language of love
From: Scott Cummins, February 16, 2007
Re: Sea Hare 'Love Drug'
From: Bill Rudman, August 14, 2006
Sea Hare 'Love Drug'
From: Bill Rudman, March 8, 2003
Aplysia dactylomela mating chains
From: Anne DuPont, May 27, 2002
From: Wilson, February 2, 2001
Aplysia mating chain
From: Bill Rudman, May 9, 2000
Sea Hares - mating chains
From: Erwin Koehler, June 4, 1998