The Sacoglossa is an order of mostly herbivorous shelled and naked sea slugs (~400 described species) that peaks in diversity in the tropical Pacific and Caribbean (Jensen, 2007; Jensen, 1996). A growing research community uses these molluscs as model organisms for studying dispersal, kleptoplasty, larval development, symbiosis, and  marine speciation. Many sacoglossan sea slugs retain photosynthetically active chloroplasts from the algae they eat, incorporate extra-embryonic resources into their egg masses (Allen et al., 2009), and a few taxa can produce both pelagic planktotrophic (feeding) and lecithotrophic (intracapsularly metamorphosing ) larvae-- a rare phenomenon called poecilogony (Krug, 2009; Krug et al., 2007). 

The Sacoglossa is an order of herbivorous sea slugs (~400 described species) that peaks in diversity in the tropical Pacific and Caribbean (Jensen, 2007; Jensen, 1996). A growing research community has begun to use the Sacoglossa as a model to dispersal, symbiosis, and speciation in the sea, because these molluscs exhibit a suite of unique characteritics. For example, many species incorporate extra-embryonic resources in their egg masses, making them ideal subjects for studying life-history evolution (Allen et al., 2009). They also develop as either feeding or non-feeding larvae, but a few taxa can produce both kinds—a rare phenomenon called poecilogony (Krug, 2009; Krug et al., 2007). Most species can retain photosynthetically active chloroplasts from the algae they eat, and in one species a gene from the alga transfered into the genome of the slug — a discovery that has received considerable attention (Händeler, et al., in press; Rumpho, et al. 2008; Pierce, et al. 2007; Pennisi, 2006). 
Despite the widespread interest in their biology, sacoglossans have received little attention by systematists. It is therefore not surprising that faunal lists typically underestimate sacoglossan diversity (Trowbridge et al., 2009; Gosliner et al., 2008; Carlson and Hoff, 2003). 

Despite the widespread interest in the biology of the Sacoglossa, many species remain undescribed and faunal lists typically underestimate their diversity (Trowbridge et al., 2009; Gosliner et al., 2008; Carlson and Hoff, 2003).  The goal of this LifeDesk is to integrate sacoglossan biological information from a team of researchers thereby providing a valuable and authoritative resource to professional scientists, teachers, and amateurs.

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The Sacoglossa is an order of herbivorous sea slugs (~400 described species) that peaks in diversity in the tropical Pacific and Caribbean (Jensen, 2007; Jensen, 1996). A growing research community has begun to use the Sacoglossa as a model to dispersal, symbiosis, and speciation in the sea, because these molluscs exhibit a suite of unique characteritics. For example, many species incorporate extra-embryonic resources in their egg masses, making them ideal subjects for studying life-history evolution (Allen et al., 2009). They also develop as either feeding or non-feeding larvae, but a few taxa can produce both kinds—a rare phenomenon called poecilogony (Krug, 2009; Krug et al., 2007). Most species can retain photosynthetically active chloroplasts from the algae they eat, and in one species a gene from the alga transfered into the genome of the slug — a discovery that has received considerable attention (Händeler, et al., in press; Rumpho, et al. 2008; Pierce, et al. 2007; Pennisi, 2006). Despite the widespread interest in their biology, sacoglossans have received little attention by systematists. It is therefore not surprising that faunal lists typically underestimate sacoglossan diversity (Trowbridge et al., 2009; Gosliner et al., 2008; Carlson and Hoff, 2003). 

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