FWC Spotlights Sea Hare Species

By  //  December 28, 2013

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same family as snails and slugs

ABOVE VIDEO: Sea Hares have soft bodies making them an easy target for predators. That would be if it weren’t for the sea hares numerous defenses. Find out how the sea hare protects itself against various predators such as the spiny lobster. 

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Sea Hares are in the same family as snails and slugs. This beautiful creature was found at Cedar Key and photographed by, FWC staff member, Jennifer Saranzak.

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Unlike most snails, many species of sea hares can swim and often they are mistaken for fish. However, the ragged seahare, the one pictured here, doesn’t swim. (Image by Jennifer Saranzak)

Unlike most snails, many species of sea hares can swim and often they are mistaken for fish. However, the ragged sea hare, the one pictured here, doesn’t swim.

They can also release ink when they are upset, just like squid or octopus do. These animals do have a shell but it’s under their outer skin and very thin and fragile.

Seahares are herbivores and eat algae. There are more than a dozen species of sea hares found in Florida waters, but three of the more common species are the mottled sea hare, the Atlantic black sea hare and the ragged sea hare, pictured here.

Seahares got their name from the ancient Greeks who thought the animal looked like a rabbit. Some sea hares can grow to be over 2 feet long.

Seahares are also raised commercially for use in neurological research.

For more information visit SeaHare.org


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