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 Elysia sp.
Sea slug

                           Sheridan Rabbitt (2013)


Fact Sheet



Physical Description

Size and Colouration

External Anatomy


Local Distribution and Microhabitat

Life History & Behaviour


Development and Locomotion

Feeding and Respiration

Behavioural Observations

Anatomy & Physiology

Internal Anatomy

Histological Sectioning

Evolution & Systematics

Phylogeny and Kleptoplasty

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links

Reference List

Useful Links



This Elysia sp. is an opisthobranch sea slug  in the order sacoglossa, sometimes referred to as the ascoglossa, collectively known as the sap-sucking sea slugs. It is a member of the Elysiidae family, which are characterised by the prominent parapodia extending laterally from their midline.

The Elysiidae family has three genera, Elysia, Bosellia and Thuridilla. The Elysia  genus is the largest with nearly 100 species described. They are often referred to as the solar-powered sea slugs, as many members of this genus are able to 'photosynthesise' by uptaking chloroplasts from the algae they consume. Despite this, not a lot of work has been done on the genus as a whole, though many species, and in particular Elysia chlorotica, have been studied in detail.

Elysia sp. has been found to be new to science, and is currently in the process of being described (personal communication). This webpage will be updated once a name has been decided upon and a description of the species published. 

All photos and videos on this site were taken by Sheridan Rabbitt at Heron Island or at the University of Queensland unless otherwise noted.