California Sea Hare

California Sea Hare

Aplysia californica

Physical Description

The California Sea Hare, Aplysia californica, typically grows up to 400 mm in length. It exhibits hues of red, brown, or greenish coloration, adorned with reticulating dark lines and irregular spots.

Habitat and Geographical Range

Sporadically common along the eastern Pacific coast, the California Sea Hare is found in kelp forests or on mudflats. Its abundance varies greatly from year to year, with a higher occurrence observed in southern California. It typically inhabits areas with red algae, its preferred food source.

What They Eat and How They Breed

California Sea Hares are herbivorous, primarily feeding on red algae. During breeding, they release eggs into the water, where fertilization occurs externally. The larvae hatch and undergo a planktonic stage before settling onto suitable substrates.

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