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Shag-rug Aeolis, Aeolidia papillosa

[Shag-rug Aeolis,
Aeolidia papillosa, misnudi11.jpg=52KB]

The shag-rug Aeolis, Aeolidia papillosa, a sea-slug or nudibranch, is a mollusc in the family Aeolidiidae. It ranges from as far north as Cook Inlet, Alaska, from central California, and it is found in low intertidal and subtidal zones. The shag-rug sea slug is not common in our area. They eat sea anemones such as Urticina crassicornis and Metridum senile. Their secretions serve to discharge the anemone's nematocysts before they start to take bites from the anemone's column. The Order Nudibranchia are carnivores and are often brightly colored, which serves to warn away predators. Some species apparently secrete sulfuric acid, which makes them distasteful to predators. Sea slugs are also hermaphroditic, both male and female at the same time.

Scientific name: Greek aiolos (quick moving, flexible, changeable, variegated); and Latin papill (nipple, pimple).


Digital photo by Jan Haaga. References (a complete list) in the text include: O'Clair (1998), Gotshall (1994), Kessler (1985) or Barr (1983).

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