Strange Sea Hare from Hawaii

August 2, 2000
From: John Hoover

Dear Dr. Rudman,

My friend Darrell Takaoka found a sea hare that looks much like Stylocheilus longicauda [i.e. S. citrina]. It is orange-yellow with scattered small black spots and a short tail visible only when the slug stretches out. It has scattered papillae with whitish tips. There are no parapodia.

In its normal resting position it appears round except for the head. It has the habit of squirting water from the orifice on its back as if trying to propel itself down and backwards. Darrell collected it in 2 feet of water on seaweed covered rock at Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu.

Because it lacks a long tail we suspect it is not S. longicauda, but what then is it?

John Hoover
Honolulu, Hawaii

Hoover, J., 2000 (Aug 2) Strange Sea Hare from Hawaii. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear John,
If it looks like a sea hare, doesn't have parapodia, and squirts water from its 'orifice' then the only thing that fits is Notarchus indicus.

Notarchus indicus is the amazing sea hare which swims by jet propulsion. It does have parapodia, but they are fused except for a small section which forms the orifice you mention.

Have a look at the page on Notarchus and the wonderful series of photos from the Red Sea that Jochen Scholtyssek recently sent us in two messages.

If your animal looks nothing like Notarchus then I guess you had better send a photo or a sketch so I have a few more clues.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Aug 2). Comment on Strange Sea Hare from Hawaii by John Hoover. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Notarchus indicus

Related messages

  1. Re: Notarchus indicus at Eilat
    From: Binyamin Koretz, February 17, 2006
  2. Notarchus indicus at Eilat
    From: Bill Rudman, March 15, 2005
  3. Re: Notarchus from Hawaii
    From: John Hoover, August 3, 2000
  4. More photos of Notarchus swimming
    From: Jochen Scholtyssek, July 6, 2000
  5. Notarchus indicus swimming
    From: Jochen Scholtyssek, June 28, 2000

Show factsheet and all related messages