California Sea Hare

Aplysia californica

slimy oval-shaped creature, brown and partially translucent, in the palm of a hand.

Common Name: California Sea Hare

Scientific Name: Aplysia californica

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family: Animalia, Mollusca, Gastropoda, Anaspidea, Aplysiidae

Diet: Herbivorous, red algae, sea lettuce and eelgrass

Habitat: Sheltered rocky shore, middle to lower intertidal zones

Range: Monterey to San Diego, California

Identification: Red/green/brown color, head had 4 tentacles, parapodia (flaps) along the top of the body

Reproduction: Hermaphrodite (has both female and male reproductive organs), locate each other through chemical cues, noodle-like egg mass, eggs found from November to March

Behavior: Can release purple ink from parapodia (flaps) when threatened, mainly active at night

Predators: Giant green sea anemone and California Aglaja (a predatory sea slug)

Citations:Johnson and Snook, 1927.Dice, S. 2014.