Aplysia oculifera eating Enteromorpha

November 21, 2006
From: Philibert Bidgrain


Dear Bill,
Reunion Island sea slugs.

I found with the population of A dactylomela, five specimens I suspected to be Aplysia oculifera. Like A. dactylomela [see message #18376] this sea hare also eats the filamentous green algae ( Enteromorpha sp). All the five specimens have about the same size, between 20 and 30 mm.

Locality: Saint Pierre, 10 cm, Reunion Island, Indian ocean, 20 november 2006, on a beach rock. Length: 20 to 30 mm. Photographer: philibert Bidgrain.

Did you have any information about its feeding preference?

Philibert Bidgrain
http://vieoceane.free.fr/runseaslug/indexslug.htm

pbidgrain@yahoo.fr

Bidgrain, P., 2006 (Nov 21) Aplysia oculifera eating Enteromorpha. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/18463

Dear Philibert,
It's nice to get observations like this on sea hare species. Although they are very common at times there is very little precise information on their biology. So every little bit of information like this is very valuable

If you have a look at the  A. oculifera larval development page. I describe some of the results of Plaut, Borut & Spira's (1995) work on larval developent and settlement of this species. They found that the planktonic larvae were triggered to settle by a variety of red algae and also the green algae Ulva and Enteromorpha, but only grew and survived if they fed on Enteromorpha. As they are known to squirt red ink, I guess they move on to red algae as they grow larger, as some other species are reported to do..

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2006 (Nov 21). Comment on Aplysia oculifera eating Enteromorpha by Philibert Bidgrain. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/18463

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