Aplysia parvula

Photo taken by Anne DuPont
Feb 3, 2002
Stocking Island, Exumas Bahamas

Aplysia parvula Guilding in Morch, 1863.

I spent the winter in the southern Bahamas and found a lot of Aplysia dactylomela and enjoyed photographing them. One day snorkeling in about 5 feet of water I found 4 tiny sea hares within about a foot of each other. They were about one-half inch to one and one-half inch long. They were in the same area that I found most of the A . dactylomela.

I was so excited because I thought that I had finally found "baby" A. dactylomela. Then I was more excited when I realized that they looked like A. parvula! I wrote Bill Rudman to find out if they were A. dactylomela or A parvula. Bill confirmed that they were A. parvula . Per Dr. Bill Rudman: "...The black edge to the parapodia are very typical of this species. Another feature of this species is the wide opening on the mantle, also edged in black, through which the shell can be seen. In most species of Aplysia the opening [or foramen] through the mantle to the shell is microscopic and can only be seen as a small papilla. Probably the smallest species of Aplysia..."

The day that I photographed them was the only day that I found them. I looked every day after that day, but never saw them again. Distribution is world wide in tropical to warm temperate waters.

Anne Dupont
Delray Beach, Florida
Jul., 2001

Anne is a retired IBM instructor whose favorite pursuit is underwater photography. She particularily enjoys photographing invertabrates. Anne has won international awards for her underwater photographs, and has been published in numerous SCUBA diving magazines, and other marine and non-marine related magazines. She also has been published in several books including "Venomous & Toxic Marine Life of the World."

Anne and her husband reside in Delray Beach, Florida. When not diving Florida waters, they spend their time diving and cruising the Bahamas on their trawler.

This month Anne is the featured photographer of the South Florida Underwater Photographic Society

You can drop Anne a note at akdupont@bellsouth.net

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