Aplysia vaccaria

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Aplysia vaccaria
Black Sea Hare (Aplysia vaccaria).JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Euopisthobranchia
clade Aplysiomorpha
Superfamily: Aplysioidea
Family: Aplysiidae
Genus: Aplysia
Species: A. vaccaria
Binomial name
Aplysia vaccaria
Winkler, 1955

Aplysia vaccaria, also known as the black sea hare and California black sea hare, is a species of extremely large sea slug, a marine, opisthobranch, gastropod mollusk in the family Aplysiidae.[1]

This is the largest sea slug species.[2]


This sea hare species lives in the Northeast Pacific Region off California, United States and Baja California, Mexico, including the Gulf of California.[3]


The black sea hare can grow to be very large: the longest recorded specimen measured 99 cm (39 in) when crawling (and thus fully extended), and weighed nearly 14 kg (31 lb).[3]

Unlike Aplysia californica, the body of this species is relatively firm, and the parapodia are joined behind the siphon.[3]

Unlike many other members of the same family and genus, this species is incapable of producing ink.

Feeding habits[edit]

All Aplysia species are herbivorous. This species eats brown seaweeds and kelp, which give the animal its typically very dark coloration.


  1. ^ Bouchet, P. (2011). Aplysia vaccaria Winkler, 1955. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=568031 on 2012-03-31
  2. ^ Slug Site: Aplysia vaccaria. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Sea Slugs: Aplysia vaccaria. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  • Bebbington A. (1977) Aplysiid species from Eastern Australia with notes on the Pacific Ocean Aplysiomorpha (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia). Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 34: 87-147.
  • Turgeon, D.; Quinn, J.F.; Bogan, A.E.; Coan, E.V.; Hochberg, F.G.; Lyons, W.G.; Mikkelsen, P.M.; Neves, R.J.; Roper, C.F.E.; Rosenberg, G.; Roth, B.; Scheltema, A.; Thompson, F.G.; Vecchione, M.; Williams, J.D. (1998). Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: mollusks. 2nd ed. American Fisheries Society Special Publication, 26. American Fisheries Society: Bethesda, MD (USA). ISBN 1-888569-01-8. IX, 526 + cd-rom pp. page(s): 122