Species encyclopedia

Aplysia or Sea Hare

Aplysia punctata


The sea hare is a gastropod with a very thin, transparent internal shell measuring around 15 mm in diameter. Its head has olfactory (smell) tentacles called rhinophores that look similar to a rabbit’s ears. This species can be found on algae-covered rocks. It is able to swim more or less easily in the open water, thanks to lateral folds in its mantle, which it uses as fins.

Food and reproduction

It feeds on algae – primarily red algae – which it grates using a radula, a sort of tongue equipped with small teeth.

Sea hares are hermaphroditic sea slugs, with both male and female organs. During the reproductive period, the population comes together to mate. Their easily identifiable eggs looks like colourful spaghetti. They can contain millions of eggs and measure several metres in length.

When threatened by a predator, it produces a purple substance that acts as a repellent.
For this reason, the French nickname it « vinegar pee ».

Atlantic Ocean


Species encyclopedia

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