We have seen only four specimens of Aplysia argus in the Marshalls, one each at Enewetak and Utirik Atolls and two at Kwajalein. They live on shallow lagoon reefs, under rocks or in patches of Halimeda algae. When disturbed, this species can swim by flapping its large parapodia. A. argus is common in Hawaii. Long called Aplysia dactylomela, DNA evidence from Alexander & Valdés (2013) indicates that name should be used only for Atlantic Ocean specimens, and the next available name for those from the Pacific is Aplysia argus.
The inner surfaces of the parapodia have white spots on a darker background.
This nice specimen was found on the shallow lagoon reef off Kwajalein by Christina Sylvester.
Created 27 January 2007
Updated 2 February 2016
Alexander, J. & A. Valdés. 2013. The ring doesn’t mean a thing: Molecular data suggests a new taxonomy for two Pacific species of sea hares (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia, Aplysiidae). Pacific Science 67: 283–294
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