Sap-sucking slug

Elysia viridis

''Elysia viridis'', the sap-sucking slug, is a small-to-medium-sized species of green sea slug, a marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusc in the family Plakobranchidae.

This sea slug resembles a nudibranch, but it is not closely related to that clade of gastropods. It is instead a sacoglossan.
Green Elysia - Elysia viridis Saw this Green Elysia - Elysia viridis Nudibranch during a dive in Zeeland. Elysia viridis,Geotagged,Green Elysia,Netherlands,Sap Sucking Slug,Sea Slug,Zeeland

Appearance

The animal grows up to 30 mm in total length. It has a smooth bright green or brown body with iridescent spots and two wing-like flaps extending along its sides. These flaps are usually folded back. The rhinophores are rolled.

Distribution

This species lives in the northeastern Atlantic, from Norway to the Mediterranean Sea as well as all around the South African coast. It is found from the intertidal zone to a depth of about 5 m.

Habitat

This species lives in a subcellular endosymbiotic relationship with chloroplasts derived from the alga ''Codium fragile''. These chloroplasts provide the ''Elysia'' host with the products of photosynthesis....hieroglyph snipped... ''Elysia viridis'' feeds on ''Codium'', and absorbs its chloroplasts. The term for such an activity is kleptoplasty. The slug retains the chloroplasts within in its cells in a functioning state; they apparently are physiologically important to the host, though it is not yet clear to what extent photosynthetically derived sugars are significant in the slug's diet.

The egg mass is a flat greenish coil of several turns.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionMollusca
ClassGastropoda
OrderPlakobranchacea
FamilyPlakobranchidae
GenusElysia
SpeciesE. viridis
Photographed in
Netherlands