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Hypselodoris elegans (Contraine, 1835)

Photo & text by George Reclos. Locations: Aegean Sea, Serifos island, August 2004. Click on the thumbnails to see the high resolution photos.

Order: Nudibranchia

Family: Chromodoridae

Distribution: Mediterranean Sea and neighboring eastern Atlantic ocean, Bay of Biscay, Canary islands and Gulf of Guinea.

Depth: From a depth of 5 meters.

Common name: Elegant nudibranch

Size: Up to 12 cm.

Natural biotopes: Found on encrusted rocks. It may also be found under rocky overhangs especially when breeding (see top right photo).

Artificial environment: It should not be kept in aquariums despite its striking coloration and fancy appearance because of its feeding habits; feeds exclusively on sponges of the genus Ircinia.

Temperature: 15° C to 22° C

Food: They feed almost exclusively on sponges of the genus Ircinia.

Behavior: It is a solitary animal. It will only seek conspecifics during breeding time.

General information: Although coloration varies slightly between individuals, the yellow-green design is consistent. You can see an individual showing more green in the bottom row of photos above. Green specimens are much more rare than the yellow ones. 

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