Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

California Brown Sea Hare

Aplysia californica


Fun Facts

    Each Sea hare may lay up to eighty million eggs. However, most of the eggs are eaten by predators.

    Sea hares line up to mate: each is male to the one in front and female to the one behind, so each sea hare is both a mother and a father.



  These animals have been called sea hares since classical times because of their resemblance - at least in a European species - to a sitting hare or rabbit.  The sea hare is a slug complete with a small internal shell.  It can grow up to the size of a football and it can be olive green to reddish brown.  Sea hares occur in sheltered habitats from the seashore to 60 feet deep where they graze on algae.  When handled or disturbed, they can secrete a slimy purplish ink.  This ink acts as an irritant against potential predators.