Predation on the California Sea Hare, Aplysia californica Cooper, by the Solitary Great Green Sea Anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica (Brandt), and the Effect of Sea Hare Toxin and Acetylcholine on Anemone Muscle

Date
1962-07
Authors
Winkler, Lindsay R.
Tilton, Bernard E.
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Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press
Abstract
Because there are no known predators to feed on them in their adult state, the sea hares do not seem to enter into the prey-predator relationships of the sea. They do, however, appear to have a place in the food economy in certain limited ways. Great numbers of larvae are produced by the sea hares (MacGinitie, 1934), which presumably are consumed in large numbers by predaceous plankton and filter-feeders. Large quantities of sea weed are masticated, partially digested, and passed in the fecal pellets, thus somewhat abbreviating the process by which sea weed becomes detritus. Finally, when the adults die their bodies become a part of the marine economy by providing nutrition for bacterial flora, or perhaps for scavengers such as Pachygrapsus, which on occasion have been observed feeding on the bodies of dead sea hares.
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Citation
Winkler LR, Tilton BE. 1962. Predation on the California sea hare, Aplysia californica Cooper, by the solitary great green sea anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica (Brandt), and the effect of sea hare toxin and acetylcholine on anemone muscle. Pac Sci 16(3): 286-290.
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