Sunday, June 08, 2014

Aplysia fasciata

Yesterday, Maria and I went to the beach, and I had a nice snorkel in the shallow water and came across one of these. The water was seriously no more than about 20 inches deep, and I was directly above it. But it was so perfectly camoflaged, just grazing on the seaweed, I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't just happened to look straight at the right spot.

I don't remember ever being so excited by something I've found in the wild. It was so beautiful and perfect, and so... I want to say 'important'...though I'm not sure why.

I truly don't remember ever wanting to take something home in a jam jar quite as much as that sea slug.

In real life, it is a dark reddish brown, mottled with iridescent pink spots, and about as long as my hand. I poked it gently and ran my finger down its dorsal fluke thing... It ignored me.

It took hours, but I have identified it as Aplysia fasciata. I thought at first it was an unusually large kind of nudibranch, but it turns out it's a different sort of mollusc that is commonly called a "Sea Hare".

My kingdom for an underwater camera!


1 comment:

gracem said...

gee hilary, it's so beautiful, and so weird..thanks!