Elysia tuca

Elysia tuca in Box of Slugs 2.

Description: Small (~1 cm), slender, deep green slug.  The first impression is that of a tiny, aquatic pickle.  White patch on head, with white lines running up the rhinophores.  Simple parapodia, filled with kelptoplasts and mottled with white.


Distribution: Caribbean, from Florida to Brazil

Food plants: Highly selective for Halimeda incrassata (Rasher et al., 2015)

Kleptoplasty: Short-term

Development: Lecithotrophic (Krug, 2009)

Scientific Literature

Rasher, D.B., Stout, E.P., Engel, S., Shearer, T.L., Kubanek, J., Hay, M.E., Wootton, J.T. (2015) Marine and terrestrial herbivores display convergent chemical ecology despite 400 million years of independent evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112 (39), pp. 12110-12115. [F] [Tu] [NP] [K]

Camacho-García Y.Pola M.Carmona L.Padula V.Villani G. and Cervera L. (2014Diversity and distribution of the heterobranch sea slug fauna on the Caribbean of Costa RicaCahiers de Biologie Marine 55109127 [NH] [Ev] [Su] [[Tu] Zu] 

Sanvicente-Añorve, L., Solís-Weiss, V., Ortigosa, J., Hermoso-Salazar, M., Lemus-Santana, E. (2012) Opisthobranch fauna from the national park arrecife alacranes,southern Gulf of Mexico. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 53 (4), pp. 447-460.

Ortigosa, D., Lemus-Santana, E., SimÃes, N. New records of ‘opisthobranchs’ (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) from Arrecife Alacranes National Park, Yucatan, Mexico. (2015) Marine Biodiversity Records, 8, art. no. e117, . [NH] [Fl] [Pr][Su] [Ti] [Pa] [Tu] [Cr] [Or]

Krug, P.J.(2009) Not My “Type”: Larval dispersal dimorphisms and bet-hedging in opisthobranch life histories.  Biological Bulletin, 216 (3), pp. 355-372.

Carlini, D.B., Regan, J.D. (1995) Photolyase activities of Elysia tuca, Bursatella leachii, and Haminaea antillarum (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia) Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 189 (1-2), pp. 219-232.

Weaver, S., Clark, K.B. (1981) Light intensity and color preferences of five Ascoglossan = Sacoglossan) molluscs (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia): a comparison of chloroplast symbiotic and aposymbiotic species.  Marine Behavior and Physiology, 7 pp. 297-306 Abstract [Bn] [K] [Cr] [Tu]

Stirts, H.M., Clark, K.B.(1980) Effects of temperature on products of symbiotic chloroplasts in Elysia tuca Marcus (opisthobranchia: ascoglossa). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 43 (1), pp. 39-47.

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