Plakobranchus ocellatus van Hasselt, 1824
Evertsen, Jussi; Burghardt, Ingo; Johnsen, Geir; and Waegele, Heike. 2007. Retention of functional chloroplasts in some sacoglossans from the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean Marine Biology (Berlin) 151 (6): 2159-2166.
Rudman, W.B., 1998 (December 11) Plakobranchus ocellatus van Hasselt, 1824. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/placocel
Ecology and Distribution
Found throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific.
This sea slug ingests photosynthetically active chloroplasts from the algae it eats and retains them within specialized cells of its digestive diverticula (digestive tract) (Greene, 1970). In laboratory studies, Evertsen et al. (2007) found that these ingested chloroplasts continued to photosynthesize within P. ocellatus for 335 days, which is longest record of chloroplast activity in any tested sacoglossan.
This animal prefers shallow water and is usually buried or partially buried in the sand.