Pleurobranchaea maculata

Pleurobranchaea maculata

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Encyclopedia
Pleurobranchaea maculata, or the grey side-gilled slug, is a species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of sea slug
Slug
Slug is a common name that is normally applied to any gastropod mollusc that lacks a shell, has a very reduced shell, or has a small internal shell...

, a marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 opisthobranch gastropod mollusk in the family Pleurobranchidae
Pleurobranchidae
The Pleurobranchidae are a taxonomic family of sea slugs, marine gastropod molluscs in the order Notaspidea.The species in the family Pleurobranchidae have a prominent mantle and an internal shell that becomes reduced or is lost in adults. Some adult species have been seen feeding on ascidians...

.

Habitat


This species is found intertidally in harbours, and to depths of up to 250 m off rocky coasts.

Description


This slug has no shell.

Coloration is pale grey, densely patterned with short, brown lines.

Length is up to 100 mm.

Life habits


This slug eats sea anemone
Sea anemone
Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria; they are named after the anemone, a terrestrial flower. Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Zoantharia. Anthozoa often have large polyps that allow for digestion of larger...

s, marine worms, and molluscs.

Several dogs died of tetrodotoxin
Tetrodotoxin
Tetrodotoxin, also known as "tetrodox" and frequently abbreviated as TTX, sometimes colloquially referred to as "zombie powder" by those who practice Vodou, is a potent neurotoxin with no known antidote. There have been successful tests of a possible antidote in mice, but further tests must be...

 poisoning after eating Pleurobranchaea maculata on Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

beaches in 2009.

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