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Ragged sea hare

Bursatella leachii

''Bursatella leachii'', common name the ragged sea hare or shaggy sea hare, is a species of large sea slug or sea hare, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Aplysiidae, the sea hares.

Appearance

''Bursatella leachii'' is green to greenish brown. It has a broad and short head. Its mantle is covered with papillae, which give it a thorny aspect. The mantle has a network-like pattern with blue eyespots in black spots and green areas. It moves slowly on a broad foot. There is short, sharp tail. The short parapodia are fused on their rear end.

The maximum recorded length is 120 mm.

Naming

Three subspecies have been described:

⤷  ''Bursatella leachii africana''
⤷  ''Bursatella leachii guineensis'' Bebbington, 1969
⤷  ''Bursatella leachii leachii'' Blainville, 1817
⤷  ''Bursatella leachii pleii'' Rang, 1826 )
⤷  ''Bursatella leachii savigniana'' Audouin, 1826 ; ''Notarchus savignyanus'' )

Distribution

This is a circumtropical sea hare, the only species in its genus. It occurs in the intertidal zone and down to at least 10 m on coastal areas of the Indo-West Pacific oceans, the Caribbean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Habitat

The species is usually found in estuaries and tidal pools, and more rarely on sandy bottoms. The minimum recorded depth for this species is 0 m; maximum recorded depth is 7 m. This sea hare may be found in dense concentrations or singly. It is herbivorous. The species lays egg ribbons in long green stringy tangles.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionMollusca
ClassGastropoda
OrderAplysiida
FamilyAplysiidae
GenusBursatella
SpeciesB. leachii