Behavioral patterns of Aplysia fasciata along the Mediterranean Coast of Israel

A. J. Susswein, S. Gev, Y. Achituv, S. Markovich

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65 Scopus citations


Aplysia fasciata were observed in a number of environments. They were usually aggregated. Animals were occasionally buried in sand. Aplysia were less mobile and more deeply hidden when waves were strong. Aplysia swam only in a calm environment. A wide variety of seaweeds were eaten, but the most common food was Ulva lactuca. Food arousal and satiation occur in the field. Often the pattern of feeding was a gradual slowing down and eventual cessation of eating; however, many meals deviated from this pattern. Appetitive behaviors preceding mating as a male were similar to those preceding eating. Aroused animals mated as males, while passive animals mated as females: mating as a male produced arousal, expressed as an increased likelihood to respond to food or to mate as a male. Two males could simultaneously impregnate one female. Animals mate in large groups, constantly changing partners. Mating groups occur in linear chain, branched chain, and closed chain configurations. Egg laying and egg masses were observed in areas inhabited by animals. Inking was never observed without experimenter intervention, even when a crab attacked an Aplysia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalBehavioral and Neural Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1984

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank E. Feldman and M. Schwarz for participating in some observations, and for useful discussions. This work was supported by a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (B.S.F.). Send requests for reprints to Dr. A. J. Susswein.


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