Blue Spot Sea Hare (Bursatella leachii)
Max Size: 6 inches
Reef Compatible: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons
The Blue Spot Sea Hare is a stunning and delicately frilled sea hare with brown, tan, or black coloration adorned with metallic blue spots. Compared to other sea hare species commonly found in the aquarium trade, it is relatively smaller in size. While it seems less prone to emit toxic ink compared to its larger relatives when handled or upon death (based on personal observations), it is still essential to be prepared for such an incident.
To mitigate any potential inking emergency, it is recommended to keep carbon in the filtration system and have several pounds of fresh carbon readily available. In case of inking, siphon out as much ink as possible and conduct a large water change to maintain water quality.
According to the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, the Bursatella leachii primarily acts as a grazing benthic detritivore/herbivore, feeding on cyanophytes and diatom mats and films found on sand, mud, and other benthic substrata. Additionally, it may facultatively consume some macrophyte material like Ectocarpus and Enteromorpha. While some reports suggest a possible dietary preference for Enteromorpha over cyanobacteria in Pacific populations, it is essential to note that such preference may not be universal across all individuals of this species.