Blunt-end Sea Hare - Dolabella auricularia - Large
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The Blunt-end Sea Hare (Dolabella auricularia) is from a family of sea hares with a slightly different appearance than many of the more common Aplysia sp. sea hares found in the aquarium trade. Their back end has a flat "disk" surrounded by a short fringe. These sea hares have a mottled green or brown appearance and can blend in very well with rockwork and algae.
The Sea Hare is an interesting addition to reef aquaria. Although there are many types of sea hares in many marine environments, most available in the aquarium trade a from tropical waters. They are green or brown, usually with darker markings that make them look like algae-covered rocks. The name "Sea Hare" comes from their vegetarian diet as well as the two fringes on their head that look like rabbit ears, especially when the animal is lifting the front of its body and looks like a rabbit sitting up on its back legs.
Sea Hares are sought after for their voracious appetites, feeding on macro and filamentous algae. They will feed on dried algae if the live algae supply dwindles and should be fed to avoid starvation. These slugs are reef safe and will not eat corals or polyps, but their size makes them cumbersome in smaller aquariums. The Aplysia genus includes some of the larger sea hares, most of which grow to about 6-8 inches in length.
If stressed, a sea hare may release a blue-purple ink into the water. While unsightly and irritating to some sensitive organisms, the aquarium's filtration system will usually take care of removing this ink. A water change will also help remove it from the aquarium.
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|Common Name||Blunt-end Sea Hare - Lg.|
|Scientific Name||Dolabella auricularia|
|Difficulty||Easy to Moderate|
|Max Size (in inches)||4|
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)||45|
|Specific Gravity Range||1.022-1.026|
|Toxic||Yes, if stressed or eaten|
|Armed Forces Americas|
|Armed Forces Europe|
|Armed Forces Pacific|