Return to the Gastropods Index

Sea Slug (Spanish Dancer)
Hexabranchus sanguineus

Class  

Gastropod

Sea Slug (Spanish Dancer)

Range  

Sea slugs are found throughout the world's oceans. There many species of sea slug. The Spanish Dancer is found in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea.

Habitat  

Sea slugs live mostly in warm, tropical waters on the ocean floor. They are rarely found in cooler waters and are rarely swimming in open water.

Body Traits  

There are many different kinds of sea slugs, all with different bright colors and patterns. Though they are in the same family as snails, they have little or no shell. They are poisonous and very few animals will eat them. The Spanish Dancer is one of the largest sea slugs reaching 15 inches long (40 cm). They are bight red and their swimming motion looks like  the waving skirts of a Spanish Dancer.

Habits  

When threatened by predators, they shoot out an inky, acid spray to scare them off. Only crabs and lobsters can eat them.

Diet  

They eat animals (carnivores) like sponges, anemones, corals, and barnacles.

Reproduction  

They have both male and female organs so can mate with any sea slug of their species that they meet. They lay their eggs in masses on or near an animal they eat for hatching young to have a first meal.


Sea Slug (Spanish Dancer)

Classification  

Domain:  Eukarya
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Subphylum: --
Class:     Gastropoda
Order: Cephalaspidea
Suborder: --
Superfamily: Doridoidea
Family: Hexabranchidae
Genus:     Hexabranchus
Species: H. sanguineus

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