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Elysia obtusa

Jeffrey Ikin (2014)


Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


Elysia obtusa is a sacoglosson (=ascoglossa) opisthobranch sea slug. Sacoglosson sea slugs are commonly known as sap-sucking sea slugs, due to the unique manner in which they feed on algae. E. obtusa is also capable of kleptoplasty, which is the retention of plastids (in this case chloroplasts) in which it can utilise the photosynthetic activity of between feeding or in times when food sources are scarce. 

Throughout this profile, E. obtusa is examined when able, but as literature is limited on many sacoglosson sea slugs, traits for the genus Elysia are discussed when information can not be found directly for the species E. obtusa

Figure 1 gives an indication of the general appearance of E. obtusa, click for a more detailed physical description.
The ecology and microhabitat of E. obtusa is briefly outlined here. Life history and behaviour, including feeding, reproduction, movement, respiration and defences are covered here. There is also a more detailed description of the physiology and anatomy, included a slide from a specimen detailing the retained chloroplasts. A brief outline of the systematics of E. obtusa can be found here. Mapping of the biogeographic distribution of E. obtusa can be found here, and information on the threats that face the animal can be found here
Figure 1. Sketch of an E. obtusa individual (Jensen 2003).