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Ornate Elysia

Elysia ornata

(Swainson, 1840)

Ornate Elysia

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Summary

Saltwater. Molluscs (Sap-Sucking Slugs). Commonly known as ornate elysia or ornate leaf slug. It superficially resembles a nudibranch, yet it does not belong to that suborder of gastropods. Instead it is a member of the closely related clade Sacoglossa, the 'sap-sucking' sea slugs.

To be confused with

- Painted Elysia Thuridilla picta.

Characteristics

Size: 1 to 2.5 cm, max 5 cm.
Colour: It is a translucent greenish-yellow colour speckled with white and black.
Shape:  It has broad parapodia each edged with an orange band and a black margin. The rhinophores are similarly coloured with a band of orange and dark tips.

Habitat environment and ecology

Inhabit coral reefs. Graze on algae. The chloroplasts end up lining the slug’s digestive tract, enabling the slugs to survive solely by photosynthesis for several months at a time.

Distribution range

BES-eilanden: St. Eustatius.

Author

[Marion Haarsma, march 2016]

Literature

- Humann, P., & DeLoach, N. (2002). Reef Creature Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (p. 420). Jacksonville (FL): New World Publications.

Categorieën:

Soorten, Weekdieren

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Ornate Elysia Ornate Elysia

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