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Lettuce Sea Slug

Elysia crispata


Large elysiid, up to 50 mm long and 30 mm wide with prominent parapodia which are very folded at the edge, with both primary and secondary semipermanent folds. They contain symbiotic plastids from algae Halimeda incrassata and Penicillus capitatus, but not from any other species of Halimeda or Penicillus, although other species of both genera are present in their natural habitats. They retain living chloroplasts which continue to photosynthesise within the body of the sea slug, providing it with sugars for its own nutrition. The process of taking chloroplasts from algal cells and keeping them has been given the name kleptoplasty.


Seen in the coral reef The Sampler, Klein Bonaire.

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The MnMs
Spotted by
The MnMs

Bonaire, Caribisch Nederland, Netherlands

Lat: 12.17, Long: -68.31

Spotted on Sep 14, 2017
Submitted on Jan 27, 2018

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