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Nudibranch ID..Please? Blue-Ring Sea Hare
Hello again WWM Crew,
<Hello again, Sandra - Lynn here again too!>
I found a Nudibranch in my quarantine tank on a small colony of
Palyzoas that I have not been able to identify.
<It does look like a Nudibranch, doesn't it? It fooled me too,
at first! Its instead a harmless species of Sea Hare (family
Aplysiidae) called Stylocheilus striatus, a common
circum-tropical slug that happens to eat blue green algae (yay!)
and only reaches about 65mm (roughly 2.5") in length. One of
its common names is the Blue-ring Sea Hare which is most
appropriate considering the color form that your individual
displays. For more information, please see the following link:
It's not like most of the Zoanthid eating Nudibranchs I have
I have looked at the Sea Slug Forum, WWM and several others with
pictures and with the thousands of Nudibranchs in existence, I
just can't find one that looks just like it.
<Believe me, I feel your pain. As much as Id love to say that
I knew what that little guy was right away, I sure didn't. I saw
what I thought were gills on the back and went completely off
course! I must have looked at ten zillion photos of Nudibranchs
before I finally backtracked and looked at the Aplysiids! I just
know Im going to be dreaming of sea slugs chasing me
I'm attaching 2 pictures that I narrowed down from about
<Heee! You sound like me! Hey, its always better to have too
many photos, than too few.>
It's not easy taking pictures of a moving quarter inch long
<No kidding, you did a great job!>
His body pattern looks like brown on white tree bark and it has
electric blue spots surrounded by a yellow-orange spot.
<Its definitely a beautiful little creature.>
If you know what this little guy is, do you know what his egg
case looks like
<This species leaves strands of eggs. See the photo at the
..and their incubation period so I know how long to keep the
Palyzoas in quarantine.
<No worries with this little guy.>
Most Zoa eating Nudis have a "C" shaped white and clear
egg case and I haven't found any like that in this quarantine
Any help would be greatly appreciated. You guys are awesome.
<Why thank you!>
<You're very welcome. Take care, LynnZ>
|Re: Nudibranch ID..Please? Blue-Ring
Sea Hare 5/15/09
Thanks a bunch, Lynn, for both ID emails today, the sea hare and
the olive snail.
<Youre most welcome!>
I was looking at pictures of the sea hare and thought it kind of
looked like one but like you said, it sure did look like gills on
the back. And I even looked at him under my microscope.
<I bet that was neat.>
If I hadn't thought those were gills on his back I probably
would have found him right away.
<Yep, I know the feeling.>
He doesn't seem as "hairy" as most of the sea hares I
have seen, either. On the Olive Snail, that was my second thought.
But I have never seen one so big before.
<I haven't either not alive, anyway.>
All of the olive snails I have ever seen have been less than an
inch. You had asked his possible origin and this tank was set up
with live rock from both Fiji and Indonesia and it's only been
up for about 6 months. I inspect and quarantine all of the corals
and other critters before they go near the tank
and being that large it's probably safe to assume that he came
in on the live rock.
He must have been stuck in a hole.
<That would be my guess as well - or within a crevice.>
I am going to keep him in either the mantis tank or my quarantine
tank. It took me over a month to catch him this last time so I
don't want to take any chances of him deciding to find my
snails or other critters appetizing.
<I dont blame you. Its definitely the safe thing to do,
especially since he's so hard to find/catch.>
The mantis is a spearer that clicks from his back end and not the
He came in live rock in my soft coral tank and it took 4 months to
finally catch him.
<I bet that was fun! They can be a real challenge to
He's been in a separate tank for about 3 or 4 weeks now but I
haven't seen him eat anything in this tank. In the soft coral
tank he ate daily. Unfortunately, he started out eating gobies and
my clown fish before I discovered him.
<Uh-oh. Thats not the way you want to find out you've got a
But after that he would eat krill, silver sides, brine shrimp,
Mysis shrimp, crab meat, clams and prawn from a skewer or tweezers.
But since he has been in a tank of his own, I haven't seen him
eat anything. He won't take anything off the skewer anymore.
Maybe he's lonely now.
<Hmmm, Im not sure what's up with that. As long as the water
parameters are fine and he's got sufficient sand/rubble/rock to set
up his lair, he should be okay. Are you leaving any of the food
behind for him? If so, perhaps he comes out when you're not around
or at night at nabs it then.>
Well he has the olive snail now to keep him company. He is
gorgeous, though. But definitely not photogenic. He's unlike
any mantis I have ever had. He loves the light. Shine a flashlight
and he follows it.
<Heee! I have a dog like that!>
Maybe he thinks he needs his own reality TV show. Why not?
Everybody else has one, why not Max, too?
<Indeed! Sometime when you have a chance, look up The Continuing
Adventures of Tim (Supermantis) on the net. Its a hilarious tale of
a one-eyed Mantis shrimp.>
Thanks for your help, Lynn. I really appreciate it. Even in 20
years of keeping reefs you learn something new every day.
<Yep, and that's what makes it so much fun! Just think how boring
life would be if there was nothing left to learn!>
<Take care, LynnZ>
Not sure of this species and cannot locate it in any
library or online.
Creature ID: Sea Hare 4/15/09
Hello my name is Marshall Feather
<Hello Marshall, Lynn here today.>
..and I have been looking on-line and at the University of
Georgia Library and cannot find any species that matches or comes
close to this one I took a picture of. I first thought of a Red
Spanish Dancer but the two move totally different and the Dancer
does not carry a hump-like feature on its back. I first saw one
and then the next day I saw a school of these. When I got a
little closer to take pictures of its underside it shot out a
<Heee! Its that human again swim for your lives! What you saw
were Sea Hares, herbivorous sea slugs in the family Aplysiidae,
reacting to a perceived threat. The species is most likely
Aplysia braziliana (color and pattern vary), but there are other
possibilities as well. Please see the link below for a list.
Simply enter Florida in the search box, then go to the Family
drop down menu below and select Aplysiidae:
More links/information below:
Aplysia braziliana (also see associated links at the bottom of
Sea Hare ink:
<Take care, LynnZ>
Snail ID: Hydatina physis - 3/20/09
<Hi, or should I say bonjour!>
I need your help for a snail identification.
<Its actually a neat little sea slug!>
I sent you a picture...
<Yes indeed, and its a beaut.>
I'm pretty sure it's not reef safe
<Well, its a predator alright, but one that feeds exclusively
on Cirratulid Polychaetes (aka hair-worms) so everything else is
safe. As with many sea slugs and Nudibranchs, they're beautiful
but difficult to keep long term because of their specialized
...but can you tell me its name?
<Yep, its Hydatina physis, a Cephalaspidean sea slug that
carries a thin shell around on its back. Its also commonly called
variations of the Brown-Lined Paper Bubble or Bubble shell.
Please see the following link for more information:
Thank you very much!
<Thank you for sharing such a terrific photo of a beautiful
little creature! Take care, Lynn>
| Gorgeous. RMF
Lettuce Nudibranch 03/07/09 Hello all (ONCE
again) <Monique> I have been searching for the past 4 days
to figure out an answer to one specific question, I hope you know
that I try using all the resources available to me first, if no
avail then I try you guys... <Ok> Here is the deal: I
recently purchased a "lettuce Nudibranch" (please see
attached picture) at one of our LFS. Its now been about 4 weeks
and has laid a egg coil (from what I've read online
that's what it is). <Yes> What I've read states
that the are hermaphroditic, and as such can fertilize their own
eggs (though not typical). <But might well have done the
"genetic material swap thing" before your, the
store's acquisition... can store sperm> As we only have
one, and are not sure of the exact species, we were wondering if
just ANY two "lettuce Nudibranch" can reproduce
offspring? <Mmm, not across species as far as I'm
aware> Or do they have to be the EXACT SAME kind, to
reproduce? <Maybe posit this query with BillR at
SeaSlugForum... http://www.seaslugforum.net/> There is nothing
that I have found that has answered my questions, I was even on
the SEA SLUG forums looking around regarding my issue. <Oh! A
superlative site> See we would like to get another to see if
the eggs would hatch and have offspring, <Mmm... a worthwhile
speculation... poss. goal... but not easily done by home
hobbyists... do investigate these animals early life
histories...> however we aren't even sure of the
"type" of lettuce Nudibranch we have. I'm thinking
its ELYSIA CRISPATA?? <Might be. Again, send the pic to SSF:
http://www.seaslugforum.net/display.cfm?id=11846> , and of
course like always the LFS is absolutely NO help. When I went in
there they told me "we don't know because we don't
sell those 'things' here". Which was of course
frustrating as I just purchased mine from that exact store about
a month ago!!!! Any help would be GREAT! Thanks for you time! And
again all the help! ~M
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Friend David Behrens new Nudibranch
title announcement/offer. 2/23/09
& The California Academy of
1400 species, 425 pages. Over 1600 color
photographs, by 113 photographers.
Retail - $79.95
City ____________________________________ State __________Zip __________
VISA / MasterCard #
_________________________________ Exp. Date ________
Mail to: Sea Challengers, 5091 Debbie Court,
Gig Harbor, WA 98335, USA
FAX / Email to: 253-851-5677 or
Slug found...possibly some type of
Oxynoe? 2/20/09 Hi Crew....yes
it's me again *shudder* =) So my wife was bored and looking
at my planted refugium when she found these "snails"
and decided to try and take some pics. I did as much as I could
trying to track them down, and I think I found the genus, that
being: Oxynoe. I am having a time trying to track down the
species, though the Caulerpa I have came from Florida (living in
the frigid north of Minnesota and all, not so easy to find) and I
would say it's a good probability it is indigenous to that
region *wink*, but I haven't found much on those specific
ones. Can you enlighten me on the species? <Mmm... can you
send along some images? Maybe this is O. antillarum:
I think it's pretty neat, and from what I have been reading
is herbivorous and pretty harmless....unless you are a Caulerpa
=). So am I right on this one? *crosses fingers* Thanks crew!!
Justin <Bob Fenner>
Re: Slug found...possibly some type of Oxynoe?
2/20/09 Bob, Sorry about that, I thought I attached the
image to it....doh! Well here ya go =) ( they are pretty tiny
about 1/4" long, so getting a good shot is difficult without
a macro lens for the camera) Justin <Ah! Does look like that
Sacoglossan last mentioned. BobF>