Flying into the blue - Sea hare
In this video
Sea hare, Aplysia depilans, is a gastropod mollusk typical of the Mediterranean Sea; she is a sea snail but in this video we see her swimming in the blue almost like flying and we think she is anything but a snail. Sea hare Aplysia depilans Lepre di mare Ballerina spagnola
Among the many names that are given to Aplysia depilans, the one we prefer is undoubtedly the “Spanish Dancer of the Mediterranean Sea” and this is due to her way of swimming, indeed of flying in the water, moving her wings just like a flamenco dancer.
Our dancer actually swam during the end of a storm in search of food and due to the strong current she tried with difficulty to explore the seabed in search of the algae it feeds on. These rather difficult conditions for us and for her gave us the chance to see her swimming and filming her during this elegant flight in the blue.
Sea hare, Spanish Mediterranean Ballerina (Aplysia depilans Gmelin, 1791) also known as sea scia is an anaspidic mollusk of the Aplysiidae family.Ballerina Spagnola del Mediterraneo Aplysia depilans intotheblue.it
Distribution and habitat
It comes from the areas rich in aquatic vegetation of the Mediterranean Sea and the east of the Atlantic Ocean.
Species with very variable coloring, from light brown or reddish to almost black. It looks like a shapeless heap when it is collected on the bottom. If it is in a dorsal position it is possible to see its transparent shell which is very fragile. It reaches 30 cm.
Supply Although in ancient times it was thought to be a deadly animal for humans and fed on their flesh, it is a herbivorous species that feeds mostly on green algae (Ulva) and marine phanerogams (Zostera) . The feeding also affects the color of the animal.
It is an insufficient hermaphroditic species, so it is necessary to have a partner to reproduce. The eggs are laid in such a way as to form characteristic orange cords, also called, because of their particular shape, sea spaghetti.
Sea hare, a shy and charming mollusk. He lives at night and uses his ink to defend himself from predators. The sea hare or sea nun is a gastropod mollusk that lives in areas rich in vegetation such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Usually black, it can also have coloring tints ranging from white to red. The sea hare has a transparent, very fragile shell. They usually live attacked among the rocks where they burn the bottom (in search of green algae and phanerogams) crumpling up to avoid being prey. Once the food has run out they move around explaining the “wings”, two fins that shake together in a composed manner make it seem as if the molluscum were flying in the water. The sea hare can reach 30 cm in length.
in some areas of the Mediterranean, in ancient times, sea hares were considered toxic and deadly. Rumor was widespread that anyone who touched it would lose hair and hair (hence the name of the species Aplysia depilans).
Even the sea hares have a hidden weapon like so many molluscs. It is a viscous secretion consisting of purple ink and a substance called opal that the sea hare uses to defend itself from predators. This substance would attack the antennas of sea hares predators by deactivating their chemical sensors, giving the molluscs time to escape.
The sea hares use only ink as their last defense. Usually the ink is ejected when the mollusc is already in the jaws of a fish or a lobster. At that point the lobsters leave the prey prey to a state of confusion. Having so many natural predators, sea hares, they have to rely on more defense systems. It seems that the mix given by the ink and the Opaline protects these animals from a myriad of predators.