March 6, 2002
From: Amy Dohnt
I am a senior student at Geraldton secondary college, Western Australia, and i am involved in a school based marine science course. i would greatly appreciate any information you can provide on the life science of the sea hares, specifically Aplysia extraordinaria. We are planning to study these creatures within a closed environment that we have created here at school, and we are seeking information which will better enable us to create the ideal environment for them to live in. Details on feeding and breeding habits would also be well received.
Your efforts are appreciated and your web site is excellent.
Yours in science,
Amy Dohnt, Sam Nairn and Evan Bain
email@example.comDohnt, A., 2002 (Mar 6) School- based sea hare research. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6352
Dear Amy, Sam and Evan,
Firstly you are probably better to use the name Aplysia gigantea for the big Western Australian sea hare. In eastern Australia we call a very similar animal Aplysia extraordinaria. If the two do turn out to be the same then we would use Aplysia gigantea, as it is a much older name.
Aplysia gigantea is one of the biggest of the Sea Hares so keeping it in captivity will mean you will probably need to work on a larger scale than if you were keeping a smaller species alive. Have a look at the Sea Hares Page for links to other places in the Forum with information on Sea Hares. Also you will find a lot of information in the earlier messages on sea hares and my comments, that are attached at the bottom of each page.
You don't mention whether your 'closed environment' will be an aquarium system or perhaps outdoor ponds? Whatever you use it will be essential that you have some way of keeping the seawater clean and oxygenated, preferably by some sort of circulating system. In the wild, sea hares feed on algae, usually species of green or red algae. Different species of Sea Hare prefer different algae so I guess you will have to test some locally available and relatively abundant algae to see what they will eat. Many sea weeds produce and exude nasty chemicals so it pays not to put too much algae in the water at any one time. The sea lettuce Ulva is eaten by most Sea Hares so if it is abundant it is a good fallback food. Some people boil ordinary lettuce for a short time and feed that to Sea Hares with success so that's another possibility.
As for breeding a second generation that could be a problem. Sea hares breed quite easily in captivity and produce long tangled strings of eggs. Unfortunately the eggs develop into small free-swimming planktonic larvae which need to spend some time in the plankton feeding on microscopic algae. Keeping these larvae alive in aquarium conditions is very difficult.
Good Luck with your project. Keep in touch and let me know if you have any problems,
Swimming Sea Hare from Western Australia
From: Stephen Clifford, May 5, 2010
Giant Brown Sea Hares at Fremantle, Western Australia
From: Joanna Robertson, March 3, 2010
Sea hares at Perth, W. Australia.
From: John Gorter, February 18, 2010
Re: Big Sea slug from Western Australia
From: Dawn Skinner, March 11, 2009
Poisonous Sea Hares in Western Australia
From: Helen Oates, February 23, 2009
Big Sea slug from Western Australia
From: Suzy Galloway, March 31, 2008
Sea Hare poisoning in Western Australia
From: Dr Tony Pusey, March 11, 2005
Poisonous Sea Hares
From: Sue Lennard , March 27, 2003
Wilbur recovers from Sea Hare poisoning
From: Sandra & Andy Rose, March 19, 2003
Sea Hare - toxic to dogs
From: Sandra & Andy Rose , March 18, 2003
Sea hares in Western Australia
From: Joyce Mort., March 17, 2003
Dog-poisoning Sea Hares make the news
From: Bill Rudman, February 27, 2003
Re: Dog-poisoning Sea Hares
From: Gwyneth Ingham, February 26, 2003
Re: Giant Sea Hares poisoning dogs
From: Sharon Wood, February 24, 2003
Re: Giant Sea Hare poisoning dogs!
From: Sharon Wood, February 21, 2003
Re: Dogs and Sea Hares
From: Kim Trotter, February 21, 2003
Sea Hares killing dogs in Western Australia
From: Kim Trotter, February 20, 2003
Mystery brown-black slug from West Australia
From: Julie Robertson, January 31, 2003
Sea Hare? swimming
From: Jessica Vivien , January 18, 2003
Aplysia from West Australia
From: Masoud Abadi, December 31, 2002
From: Cary Rogers , March 27, 2002
Re: Sea Hare poisoning
From: Cary Rogers , March 10, 2002
Re: Sea Hare poisoning
From: Cary Rogers, March 8, 2002
Giant Sea Hare poisoning dogs!
From: Peter Taylor, March 6, 2002