Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Description:
The leaf-shaped body may reach 45 mm in length and the lateral parapodial 'wings' may be outstretched or held over the dorsum so that they nearly meet in the midline. The body colour varies with the diet, from green to red. Relatively constant features are, however, tiny glistening red, blue, and green specks. White patches may also be found, especially at the edges of the parapodia, and black markings are sometimes seen on the head and elsewhere. Ramifying diverticula of thedigestive gland and of the albumen gland are often visible through the skin of the parapodia and even of the rhinophores and other parts of the head. The anal opening is antero-lateral. The rhinophores are prominent and inrolied. The characteristic parapodial lobes make their appearance at a body-length of 3 mm; younger individuals may lack them (E. viridis-drawing).

Habitat:
This common species occurs on a variety of shallow-water algae, especially Codium and Cladophora . Despite the graceful form of the body and the wide and mobile parapodial lobes, swimming has never been observed."

Marine Species of the North Sea: http://www.species-identification.org/species.php?species_group=mollusca&selected=beschrijving&menuentry=soorten&id=905

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Description

 Elysia viridis has a delicate leaf-shaped body up to 5 cm in length which tapers posteriorly. This species is commonly vivid green, and occasionally bright red or brown. Tiny glistening red, blue or green spots are also present. Both body length and colour are determined by diet. White patches may be found on the edges of the projections of the foot (parapodium) and around the eyes, and black markings may sometimes be present on the head and body. The parapodium is broad, with lobed or frilled edges and extends almost the entire length of the body, containing visible green chloroplasts. Lateral parapodial "wings" may be outstretched or held over the body. The head bares conspicuous propodial tentacles and a pair of enrolled rhinophores that open ventrally and usually have white distal ends (anus present under right rhinophore). Digestive diverticula which contain ingested chloroplasts, ramify and can be visible through the surface of the body, parapodia and rhinophores.Elysia viridis is very similar to the sea hare in its soft winged body and colouration, although Elysia sp. is flatter with no oral tentacles. Elysia viridis is known as a 'sap-sucking slug' and feeds only on a single or limited food source (stenophagous). It ingests the chloroplasts unharmed and uses them for photosynthesis which benefit the slugs food supply (a process known as klepoplasty). Chloroplasts account for the colouration of the animal. 

This species has a 12-15 month life-span and is sexually mature when 1.2 cm in length. It produces benthic egg masses from April to October which hatch as planktonic veligers. This species may also tolerate low salinity levels.

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Physical Description

Look Alikes

Some authors have considered E. timida a junior synonym of E. viridus (e.g. Bergh, 1872; 1886; Schmekel & Portmann, 1982). However, the review by Bouchet (1984) of Elysiidae has convinced Jensen (1992) and others (e.g. Thompson & Jaklin, 1988) that both species are valid and distinct (Jensen, 1992).

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 38 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 17.8
  Temperature range (°C): 11.646 - 12.348
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.729 - 6.151
  Salinity (PPS): 35.184 - 35.363
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.128 - 6.213
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.336 - 0.425
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.448 - 3.285

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 17.8

Temperature range (°C): 11.646 - 12.348

Nitrate (umol/L): 4.729 - 6.151

Salinity (PPS): 35.184 - 35.363

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.128 - 6.213

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.336 - 0.425

Silicate (umol/l): 2.448 - 3.285
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 This species can be found on the underside of macroalgal fronds in shallow water and rock pools. Elysia viridis feeds usually on Codium sp. or Cladophora sp. in European waters.
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Like all sacoglossans, this species is a simultaneous hermaphrodite. Copulation occurs by the penis via the vaginal opening/ female aperture, often reciprocally (Jensen, 1999).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Elysia viridis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACTTTATACGTAATTTTCGGAATATGGTGTGGATTAGTTGGTACTGGTCTA---AGCCTACTTATTCGATTTGAACTTGGTACCTCAGGAGCCTTTTTAGGTGAT---GATCATTTTTATAATGTTATTGTAACAGCTCATGCCTTTGTTATAATTTTCTTCATGGTTATGCCTCTAATAATTGGGGGCTTTGGTAATTGGATAGTTCCTATTCTT---ATTGGGGCACCTGATATAAGATTCCCCCGGATAAACAATATAAGGTTCTGATTACTCCCTCCTTCTTTTATTTTTCTTCTATCCTCAAGTCTAGTAGAAGGAGGTGCTGGAACAGGATGAACAGTTTACCCTCCTCTAAGGGGGCCTATCGGCCATGGAGGTGCTTCCGTGGACTTG---GCAATTTTTTCGTTGCATCTCGCGGGGATATCTTCCATTCTAGGTGCAGTAAACTTTATTACTACCATTTTTAATATACGTTCTCCAGGAATAACAATAGAACGACTAAGATTATTCGTGTGATCTGTCCTCGTGACCGCTTTTTTACTACTACTATCACTTCCTGTGTTGGCCGGA---GCTATTACCATGCTTCTTACAGACCGGAATTTCAATACGAGTTTTTTTGACCCTGCTGGAGGTGGGGACCCTGTTCTGTATCAACATCTG
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Elysia viridis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

References

Adams, A. A. and H. Adams. 1855. The Genera of the Recent Mollusca, arranged according to their organization Vol. 3 John van der Voort, London.

Marine Species of the North Sea: http://www.species-identification.org/species.php?species_group=mollusca&selected=beschrijving&menuentry=soorten&id=905

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Wikipedia

Elysia viridis

Elysia viridis, the sap-sucking slug, is a small-to-medium-sized species of green sea slug, a marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusc in the family Plakobranchidae.

This sea slug resembles a nudibranch, but it is not closely related to that clade of gastropods. It is instead a sacoglossan.

Distribution[edit]

This species lives in the northeastern Atlantic, from Norway to the Mediterranean Sea as well as all around the South African coast. It is found from the intertidal zone to a depth of about 5 m.

Description[edit]

The animal grows up to 30 mm in total length. It has a smooth bright green or brown body with iridescent spots and two wing-like flaps extending along its sides. These flaps are usually folded back. The rhinophores are rolled.[1]

Ecology[edit]

This species lives in a subcellular endosymbiotic relationship with chloroplasts derived from the alga Codium fragile. These chloroplasts provide the Elysia host with the products of photosynthesis.[2][3][4] Elysia viridis feeds on Codium, and absorbs its chloroplasts. These are then retained unharmed in the slug's body and the photosynthetically derived sugars produced are used by the slug to supplement its diet. The egg mass is a flat greenish coil of several turns.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zsilavecz, G. (2007). Nudibranchs of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay. ISBN 0-620-38054-3
  2. ^ R.K. Trench, J.E. Boyle and D.C. Smith (1973). "The Association between Chloroplasts of Codium fragile and the Mollusc Elysia viridis. I. Characteristics of isolated Codium chloroplasts". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 184 (1074): 51–61. doi:10.1098/rspb.1973.0030. 
  3. ^ R.K. Trench, J.E. Boyle and D.C. Smith (1973). "The Association between Chloroplasts of Codium fragile and the Mollusc Elysia viridis. II. Chloroplast Ultrastructure and Photosynthetic Carbon Fixation in E. viridis". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 184 (1074): 63–81. doi:10.1098/rspb.1973.0031. 
  4. ^ R.K. Trench, J.E. Boyle and D.C. Smith (1974). "The Association between Chloroplasts of Codium Fragile and the Mollusc Elysia viridis. III. Movement of Photosynthetically Fixed 14C in Tissues of Intact Living E. viridis and in Tridachia crispata". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 185 (1081): 453–464. doi:10.1098/rspb.1974.0029. 
  5. ^ GOSLINER, T.M. 1987. Nudibranchs of Southern Africa ISBN 0-930118-13-8

See also[edit]

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