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FAQs about Sea Slugs, the Opisthobranchs, Reproduction

Related Articles: Sea Slugs, Nudibranchs,

Related FAQs: Seaslugs 1, Seaslugs 2, & FAQs on:  Seaslug Identification, Seaslug Behavior, Seaslug Compatibility, Seaslug Selection, Seaslug Systems, Seaslug Feeding, Seaslug Disease, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3 Nudibranchs, Nudibranchs 2, Nudibranch Identification, Nudibranch Behavior, Nudibranch Compatibility, Nudibranch Selection, Nudibranch Systems, Nudibranch Feeding, Nudibranch Disease, Nudibranch Reproduction, Berghia Nudibranchs, Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail ID 3


Elysia Crispata breeding    1/11/12
Happy New Year Wet Web Media crew!
<And you Gian>
Exciting times in my tank today, I was doing my daily zoning out in front of the tank, and found what seem to be eggs from a Lettuce Nudibranch.  So far my research has basically come down to Bryopsis as their main source of food, and depending on its exact species it might eat Chaetomorpha and/or some types of Caulerpa.  I have also read that the beginning stages of E. Crispata relies solely on photosynthesis, although I am sure this is all speculation.
 Right now I am debating on putting the eggs into the Q/T tank (tank has never been medicated before, and eggs have been laid on a piece of live rock), to keep safe from possible predators (i.e. cleaner shrimp/wrasse/hermits).  One issue is the q/t tank does not have the greatest of parameters and is lit by the Marineland "reef capable" LED unit, which I do not believe would be sufficient for the health of the E. Crispata.
<Mmm, there's more to this... the need for a specialized... perhaps Kreisel type of set up... and nutrient, developmental monitoring of intermediate stages... Some folks claim success... mainly through blind neglect: http://www.mbisite.org/Forums/tm.aspx?m=65368&mpage=1
as an example>
It is only a 10 gallon tank, so I could easily do a 100% water change with tank water from my display, so if that is the route to go I have no problem doing so.  The q/t tank is stocked with live rock, and I plan on getting all different types of algae to grow for them to eat off.  I will not need this q/t tank for my display for now anyway, so I am willing to try any sort of algae regardless of its aggressiveness.  Main tank is lit by a 250 watt Metal halide, along with a 150A Kessil.  So the lighting on my display is really pushing me to keeping them in there.  So if there is anything or anyone who has had success breeding these fun little guys I'd love to read it?
<May require a trip to a large/college library. See here re such searches: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm
  Also if it is recommended to move the eggs into the q/t tank, how long of an acclimation would you suggest, and do you think the tank should have low flow or higher flow?
<Mmm, better by far to have you search on the Net: "Elysia sacoglossan life cycle"
Wiki has nice coverage of E. chlorotica...
Again your help and time is always appreciated,
Giancarlo Santos
<Can be done... Bob Fenner>

Doesn't fit any Spaghetti Worm Description   7/11/11
It's in a glass. I took it, and another each day for 4 days from my saltwater aquarium. It looks like cooked spaghetti, sticks to the glass and is not the fine stuff referred to all over the web. It's the same size as real spaghetti. What is it?
<Likely an egg mass... from some species of Gastropod... Do see here:
and the next linked file in the series. Bob Fenner>

Re: Doesn't fit any Spaghetti Worm Description   7/12/11
I recently got 2 Sea Hares. They were "snuggled up" to each other for awhile.
<Ahh! Yes! Aplysiid spawn it is!>
Hmmmm. Well, I thought I had some new type of worms and took them out.
Thanks. You guys always have the best answers!
<A vivid imagination will get you by at times! Cheers, BobF>

Do you want to post this on WWM? Dolabella auricularia, repro.  3/29/2010
Here are photos of what I have decided at Sea Hare eggs and the lovely lady that laid them. The Sea Hare is a Dolabella auricularia, which I bought through Saltwaterfish.com. Use them in an ID forum if you want to. IF not, delete them - just trying to be helpful! Jeanne Warner
<Thank you for sharing Jeanne. Will post with credit to you. Bob Fenner>

Hare and egg strings

Lettuce Nudibranch -- 03/07/09 Hello all (ONCE again) <Monique> I have been searching for the past 4 days to figure out an answer to one specific question, I hope you know that I try using all the resources available to me first, if no avail then I try you guys... <Ok> Here is the deal: I recently purchased a "lettuce Nudibranch" (please see attached picture) at one of our LFS. Its now been about 4 weeks and has laid a egg coil (from what I've read online that's what it is). <Yes> What I've read states that the are hermaphroditic, and as such can fertilize their own eggs (though not typical). <But might well have done the "genetic material swap thing" before your, the store's acquisition... can store sperm> As we only have one, and are not sure of the exact species, we were wondering if just ANY two "lettuce Nudibranch" can reproduce offspring? <Mmm, not across species as far as I'm aware> Or do they have to be the EXACT SAME kind, to reproduce? <Maybe posit this query with BillR at SeaSlugForum... http://www.seaslugforum.net/> There is nothing that I have found that has answered my questions, I was even on the SEA SLUG forums looking around regarding my issue. <Oh! A superlative site> See we would like to get another to see if the eggs would hatch and have offspring, <Mmm... a worthwhile speculation... poss. goal... but not easily done by home hobbyists... do investigate these animals early life histories...> however we aren't even sure of the "type" of lettuce Nudibranch we have. I'm thinking its ELYSIA CRISPATA?? <Might be. Again, send the pic to SSF: http://www.seaslugforum.net/display.cfm?id=11846> , and of course like always the LFS is absolutely NO help. When I went in there they told me "we don't know because we don't sell those 'things' here". Which was of course frustrating as I just purchased mine from that exact store about a month ago!!!! Any help would be GREAT! Thanks for you time! And again all the help! ~M
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Help ID Tank Spaghetti � 11/14/08 Dear Crew, <Hello Andy.> It's been a long time since I rapped at you. I've been out of the loop because my tank crashed in September and I haven't had much to write about <Sorry to hear about that.> -my only inhabitants are a Kole Tang, a Sea Hare (Aplysia californica) that I borrowed from my LFS to deal with the incredible amount of algae that plagued my tank after the crash from (I assume) all the nutrients that were released when $3k worth of fish and coral disintegrated, and a bunch of hermits and snails. I know this Sea Hare is a temperate water species and will eventually starve in my tank, which is why I borrowed it rather than purchased it--I needed something big to eat an incredible amount of algae. Anyway, as I mentioned there is very little in my tank--I am letting my tank settle/re-mature and don't want to load it up with any fish for a few months. Almost nothing survived the crash, so almost all life other than the above is new that came in on a few new pieces of LR and some bristleworms, etc. that I transferred from my other tank. So, imagine my surprise when I found the attached on the underside of a piece of live rock tonight. This mass looks like a handful of spaghetti (same thickness and about 4" in diameter). It appears to be some type of egg mass, but the only thing that could have deposited it is the Sea Hare. Am I right on this? <Absolutely. These are sea hare eggs. Thanks for sharing. Do you know the National Resource for Aplysia at the University of Miami? You'll find information on the lifecycle, larval stages there. Rearing procedures are also briefly described on their website http://aplysia.miami.edu.> <Welcome. Marco.>

Help ID Tank Spaghetti II  11/14/08 Wow, thanks Marco. Does this mean I'm going to have 8 million Sea Hares in my tank? <No, are they fertilized at all? I thought you only got a single specimen.> In the normal tank, would most get eaten by fish, corals, etc? <Even if you had two and the eggs were fertilized, few would have a chance. Not all would be eaten, the rest would be filtered, skimmed. If you want to raise sea hares you need at least two, and contact the National Resource for Aplysia and see their site for Aplysia production.> Thanks again. Andy. <Cheers, Marco.>

Opisthobranch Nudibranch (sea slug) Eggs - 2/17/03 My Lettuce slug left this on the glass.. Do they look like eggs? <They are indeed conspicuous sea slug eggs. A delightful event to see. Kudos, Anthony>

Green Slug Hi Bob, thanks for your info on the Fingerfish. I got a Green Sea Slug (Elysia) last week. It is doing fine. Yesterday, it started to lay eggs in a spiral pattern. Are those eggs?  <Yes> Will they hatch?  <Perhaps.> Will they live?  <What will they eat? What is the species life cycle, developmental history? Insert the name in your search engines and find out. Bob Fenner> Thanks.

Lettuce Nudibranch or Elysia Crispata Eggs  - 1/18/07 <Hey Michelle, JustinN with you today.>   I just bought one of these magnificent creatures last week and it has laid an egg strip in my tank.  How long does it take before the eggs hatch and should I turn off my protein skimmer and cover the bottom of my filter so that the larvae don't get sucked up?  Any info at this point would help.   Thank You   Michelle Worley, Ohio <I'm sorry, Michelle, but I can't seem to find any solid information on the gestation period of Elysia crispata eggs. Shutting off your protein skimmer will likely increase the chances of survival here. Good luck! -JustinN>

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