|Drawing of a live individual of Stylocheilus longicauda|
P. Fischer, 1883
Stylocheilus (Gould, 1852) is a genus of sea slugs, specifically sea hares, marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks in the family Aplysiidae, the sea hares. According to some authors this genus belongs in the family Dolabriferidae.
Species in the genus Stylocheilus include:
- Stylocheilus longicauda Quoy & Gaimard, 1824 : Blue-ring Sea Hare, Lemon Sea Hare (used to be called Stylocheilus citrina)
- Distribution : circumtropical, Indo-West Pacific.
- Color : bright yellow or green with bluish eyespots, no lines.
- Description : This is one of the most specialized sea hares; elongate body with a long "tail" (as stated by its name longicauda), adapted for living on floating seaweed; feeds on Mermaid's Hair, blue-green algae of species Lynghya majuscula; at times, they are abundant, with several thousands crawling in the sand, traveling in chains ("snail trail") up to 10 m long
- Stylocheilus striatus Quoy & Gaimard, 1832
- Distribution : circumtropical; intertidal, occurs up to 30 m depth
- Length : 65 mm
- Color : brownish, with blue spots; lined species, with dark longitudinal lines (as stated by its name striatus) and small eyespots, providing excellent camouflage.
- Description : Feeds on blue-green algae; gives off a purple ink when disturbed.
- Species brought into synonymy
- Stylocheilus citrinus (Rang, 1828): synonym of Stylocheilus longicauda (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825)
- SEM images of its radula can be found at Thompson; Bebbington (1973). Malacologia 14: 147–165..
- Image of the Blue-ring Sea Hare
- 'Snail trail' of the Blue-ring Sea Hare
- Image of Stylocheilus striatus
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