Aplysia punctata (adult) from French Brittany

April 29, 2003
From: Marina Poddubetskaia

Dear Bill,
I spent last week-end diving near the famous Mont Saint-Michel and I found there some nice guys. For example, this large Aplysia. It looks a little like Aplysia punctata, but it seems to me quite different from the usual colour form. What do you think about it?

I include a close-up of the foramen [lower left]. I think the yellowish thing we can see here is the internal shell of this animal, isn’t it ?

Saint-Malo, France, Atlantic coast. Site: Bizeux., Depth: 4,5m., Size: 14-15cm., Temp: 12°C. April 19, 2003. Photos: Marina Poddubetskaia - Nembro website

Best wishes,


Dear Marina,
I would say this is an adult Aplysia punctata. Compare this with the animal in your other message, which is a juvenile. This is the only species from that part of the world, with this colour pattern, in which the parapodia are joined posteriorly and the mantle foramen is large. For those of you not familiar with the term foramen, it is from the Latin word for a window and refers to the hole in the mantle through which the shell can be seen. In some species such as A. punctata and A. parvula it is large and the shell is easily seen, while in many it is an almost invisible pore, often on a short papillae. In the labelled close-up alongside you can also see a flap of mantle tissue which forms a siphon or spout directing water out of the mantle cavity.

Concerning the difference in shape and colour between these animals and those in your other message, the others are juveniles which are often red or reddish in colour. However the joined parapodia and large foramen are clearly visible
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Apr 29). Comment on Aplysia punctata (adult) from French Brittany by Marina Poddubetskaia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/9757


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