Elysia (gastropod)

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Elysia
Elysia ornata 003.jpg
A live individual of Elysia ornata, head end towards the left
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Sacoglossa
clade Plakobranchacea

Superfamily: Placobranchoidea
Family: Plakobranchidae
Genus: Elysia
Risso, 1818
Species

See text

Synonyms[1]
  • Actaeon Rang, 1829 (Not available from Oken, 1815)
  • Elysiella Verrill, 1872 (Invalid: junior homonym of Elysiella Bergh, 1871)
  • Elysiella Bergh, 1871
  • Pterogasteron Pease, 1860
  • Thridachia P. Fischer, 1883 (Unjustified emendation of Tridachia)
  • Tridachia Deshayes, 1857
  • Tridachiella MacFarland, 1924

Elysia is a genus of sea slugs, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Plakobranchidae. These animals are colorful sea slugs, and they can superficially resemble nudibranchs, but are not very closely related to them. Instead they are sacoglossans, commonly known as sap-sucking slugs.[1]

Elysia sea slugs graze on algae and some species such as E. viridis and E. chlorotica hijack the chloroplasts for themselves. The chloroplasts end up lining the slug’s digestive tract, enabling the slugs to survive solely by photosynthesis for several months at a time. This association is crucial for the development and maturing of the slug. Exactly how the slugs use the chloroplasts is unclear, as many of the proteins used are encoded in the genome of the host cell. These proteins, numbering in the hundreds, are manufactured in the cell’s nucleus, and then moved into the chloroplast, enabling it to survive.[2]

This genus was previously sometimes considered to be in the family Stiligeridae, and was also previously placed in the family Elysiiidae.

Species[edit]

Species in the genus Elysia include:[1][3]

Species brought into synonymy
  • Elysia arena Carlson & Hoff, 1978: synonym of Pattyclaya arena (Carlson & Hoff, 1978)
  • Elysia bedeckta MacFarland, 1966: synonym of Elysia hedgpethi Er. Marcus, 1961
  • Elysia cauze scops Ev. Marcus & Er. Marcus, 1967: synonym of Elysia scops Ev. Marcus & Er. Marcus, 1967
  • Elysia gracilis Risbec, 1928: synonym of Thuridilla gracilis (Risbec, 1928)
  • Elysia halimedae Macnae, 1954: synonym of Elysia pusilla (Bergh, 1871)
  • Elysia picta A. E. Verrill, 1901: synonym of Thuridilla picta (A. E. Verrill, 1901)
  • Elysia pruvotfolae Er. Marcus, 1957: synonym of Elysia crispata Mørch, 1863
  • Elysia schrammi Mörch, 1863: synonym of Elysia crispata Mørch, 1863
  • Elysia splendida Grube, 1861: synonym of Thuridilla hopei (Vérany, 1853)
  • Elysia vataae Risbec, 1928: synonym of Thuridilla vataae (Risbec, 1928)
  • Elysia verrilli Pruvot-Fol, 1946: synonym of Elysia crispata Mørch, 1863

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S. (2010). Elysia Risso, 1818. In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. (2010) World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=137928 on 2010-12-14
  2. ^ BBC News item
  3. ^ "Elysia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  4. ^ Wagele, H., Stemmer, K., Burghardt, I., & Handeler, K. (2010). "Two new sacoglossan sea slug species (Opisthobranchia, Gastropoda): Ercolania annelyleorum sp. nov. (Limapontioidea) and Elysia asbecki sp. nov. (Plakobranchoidea), with notes on anatomy, histology and biology." Zootaxa 2676 (2010): 1-28.
  5. ^ Händeler K., Grzymbowski Y. P., Krug P. J. & Wägele H. (2009) "Functional chloroplasts in metazoan cells - a unique evolutionary strategy in animal life". Frontiers in Zoology 6: 28. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-6-28 PMID 19951407.

Further reading[edit]

  • Powell A. W. B., New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  • Jensen K.R. (2007) Biogeography of the Sacoglossa (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 55:255–281
  • Händeler K. & Wägele H. (2007) Preliminary study on molecular phylogeny of Sacoglossa and a compilation of their food organisms. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 55: 231-254.
  • http://www.catalogueoflife.org accessed 11 June 2009
  • SEM images of its radula can be found at Thompson; Bebbington (1973). Malacologia 14: 147–165. .

External links[edit]