Blunt-end Seahare

Dolabella auricularia

''Dolabella auricularia'', common name the "wedge sea hare" or "Donsol" in the Philippines, is a species of large sea slug, a marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusk in the family Aplysiidae, the sea hares.
Blunt-end Seahare - Dolabella auricularia streeeeeetch... ! (face at the bottom, in case you wonder) :-)
And it is a big seahare! (they reach up to 40 cm). Blunt-end Seahare,Dolabella auricularia,Fall,Geotagged,Indonesia


''Dolabella auricularia'' is a rather large species. It can reach a length of 40 cm. It can be recognized by a flattened disk on the posterior surface of the animal. This species can be found with soft pustules, leading to a rather knob-like appearance. It has a short, blunt head. Its body is covered with tubercles and skin flaps. The inner shell has a typical earlike form. It gives off purple ink when disturbed.
Blunt-end Seahare - Dolabella auricularia Front view of the same sea hare once it managed to step down! Blunt-end Seahare,Dolabella auricularia,Fall,Geotagged,Indonesia


''Dolabella auricularia'' can be found in the Indian Ocean, Western and NW Pacific.
Wedge Sea Hare - Dolabella auricularia Dolabella auricularia is a Sea Hare with a rather different shape than species of Aplysia. In Dolabella the back, or posterior end of the body is a sloping disc-like shield, with papillae around the edge and one large exhalant siphon in the middle. Buried in the tissue of this "back shield" is a large flattened, quite heavily calcified shell. In the midline, in front of the shield is a smaller groove which houses the inhalant siphon which draws water in to the almost totally enclosed mantle cavity. In the top photo the arrows show the locality of these two siphons.

Dolabella is quite variable in colour but it is always mottled shades of green and brown which make it extremely well camouflaged in nature. It is normally found in sheltered bays or lagoons, in grass beds or on sand or mud. It can also be found in large intertidal rockpools. Sometimes the only way you know it around is when you stand on it and it releases the tell-tale reddish purple aplysiid "ink". It feeds on a variety of brown green and red macroalgae and Pennings et al (1993) suggest that Dolabella actively maintains a mixed diet in preference to feeding on a single species of algae. Dolabella auricularia,Geotagged,Malapascua,Philippines,Sea Hare,Spring,Wege Sea Share,cebu


This sea hare lives in areas that are sheltered from rough currents. They will often hide in seagrass, sand and mud, feeding on algae. Intertidal rock pools are also a favoured place to live.


''Dolabella auricularia'' is sometimes used by the keepers of large marine farms aquaria, to keep algal growths in the tank down, because the sea hare feeds on them. In the Philippines the eggs of the Sea Hare which they call a Donsol are eaten as a delicacy. This delicacy is called in the Philippines Lukot or Lokot.

The anti-cancer agent monomethyl auristatin E is derived from peptides found in ''D. auricularia''.


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SpeciesD. auricularia