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Aplysia Dactylomela - The Spotted Sea Hare


Aplysia dactylomela is a member of the Sea Hares, a group in Mollusca: Gastropoda characterized by two rhinophores located on the top of the head which resemble rabbit ears, which results in A. dactylomela's common name of The Spotted Sea Hare.

View sourceImage courtesy Scott A-P Muzlie, Wikipedia




Video courtesy of the Government of Bermuda - Department of Conservation Services
Used with permission



A. dactylomela releasing ink
Photo taken by Alison Copeland, Department of Conservation Services, Bermuda
Used With Permission


The apomorphy that distinguishes the Spotted Sea Hare from its sister taxa is the presence of irregular black rings on both the inside and ouside of the parapodia (the wing-like body parts that are folded together with their ends meeting at the dorsal side of the A. dactylomela shown in the image above).


Watch The Spotted Sea Hare caught in action by the Underwater Cameraman

Link courtesy Claudio Valerio
Additional videos by this author found at www.claudio-valerio.com


This organism can swim in the water column and crawl on the substrate in its temperate water habitat.  In addition, it can defend itself from predators such as certain genera of starfish and sea anemone through its purple dye (inking) (above) or by releasing irritants from its opaline glands.

View source 
Image courtesy Scott A-P Muzlie, Wikipedia


To view other websites done by students at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse,
go to   MultipleOrganisms.net


Other Helpful Websites

thecephalopodpage: Marine Invertebrates of Bermuda

Sea Slug Forum

Okinawa Slug Site


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Image courtesy Scott A-P Muzlie, Wikipedia