Among the worlds largest gadtropods, the California Sea Hare also known scientifically as Aplysia Californica grows to lengths of 41cm or 16 in.  The Hawaiian name is Kualakai.  The distinct characteristics of the california sea hare is that it has ruffled flaps along its back and two pairs of antennae.  The color is determined by the color of the algae on which it feeds on which is generally shades of red, green, or brown.


An interesting fact is when it is disturbed the sea hare secretes a purple dye from its glands under its mantle.  Some scientists believe that the purpose of the dye secretion serves as an "inky" screen to distract predators.  Other researchers have suggested that the dye secretion releases by-products of the sea hare's diet.


The sea hare is herbivorous and it's diet consists of Algae (red, green and brown) and eelgrass.


The life cycle of a sea hare is hermaphroditic and they act as both male and female during mating.  They lay eggs that are yellow but in 8-9 days they change to brown before hatching into larva.  After the animal lays its eggs it has reached the end of its life.  Sea hares like cooler temperature waters but the colder it gets the longer it takes the egg to hatch.


Make a Free Website with Yola.