Can You Keep Sea Bunnies (Jorunna Parva) as Pets?

No. You can’t keep sea bunnies as pets, even though these sea bunny slugs are adorable. They are not approved to be kept as pets, and their poisonous nature would not be good company for your other saltwater reef tank inhabitants. It is best to enjoy them in viral videos only.

Sea bunnies are actually a type of sea slug called jorunna parva with rhinophores that look like ears. They help the sea bunny detect chemicals in the water which help them navigate and find food or potential mates. They can detect scents over far distances which guide them.

These fluff-looking creatures live in the Indo-Pacific Ocean near the coast of Japan and also live off the coasts of Australia and the Philippines. They are about one inch long (two centimeters) and may be difficult to find.

What is the size of sea bunny?

Sea bunny slugs are typically about the size of a nickel 1inch (25mm).

Sea bunny slugs live in water and burrow into the sediment on the sand floor. The bodies of sea bunnies are small enough that they can be eaten by predators such as fish and crustaceans.

They especially prefer to eat them because sea bunny’s mucus usually tastes bad and these mouthfuls will often bring up other prey as well, such as crustaceans living under discarded cans brought to shore by currents.

Can you have a sea slug as a pet?

Yes, there are a few sea slug varieties that like to live in saltwater aquariums. Many do not like living in captivity and eat enormous amounts of food if there is any available. Another difficulty with keeping sea slugs as pets is that you can starve them quite easily.

Most nudibranchs are poisonous and should not be kept in a saltwater reef tank unless you are an aquarist with a good deal of experience. They only have a limited number of prey species and it can be hard to satisfy their appetites for these foods.

If you have an infestation of Aiptasia anemones, the nudibranch Aeolidiella stephanieae, also seen as Berghia verrucicornis, can help control the population. Getting at least two will help ensure they can mate and take care of your Aiptasia problem with ease.

Other species of sea slug may eat just one specific type of coral, which makes feeding and keeping them prohibitively expensive. Try keeping a marine animal that you know you can feed and keep alive more easily.

What do sea bunnies eat?

Sea bunnies eat algae and zooplankton, which they extract from the water using their comb-like radula.

Sea bunnies are herbivores, which means they eat primarily algae and other plant matter. They use their radula to scrape the micro-algae off rocks or coral in much the same way that terrestrial rabbits scrape plants like grass out of the ground with their front teeth. Sea bunny teeth are actually very small cusps on their radula.

Can you touch a sea bunny?

No. You would have to travel to the coastal waters of Japan, Australia, or the Philippines just to see them and when you got there would find that these poisonous sea slugs are not friendly to the touch.

Sea bunnies eat creatures like sponges and hydrozoans which have toxins and stinging cells. They then absorb these components and store them in their rear to use against any predators trying to eat them.

You may be enticed to touch a sea bunny by the fluffy look of its back and tail or want to pet its ears, but don’t let these adornments fool you. Touching a sea bunny is not a good idea.

If you do touch a sea bunny, you will likely be unpleasantly surprised. Their backs will not be fluffy and you will cause damage or overload their sensory inputs. 

These creatures have a short lifespan of a few months to one year, so do your part to let them be. If you touch a sea bunny, it can feel threatened and will not eat. This makes it less likely that the sea bunny will survive.

Are sea bunnies fluffy?

While you may think these creatures have a fluffy coat, what you are actually seeing is a coat of rod-like structures called carophyllidia. These may be grouped in dark spots along the sea bunnies back, and are most likely used as a type of sense organ.

Are sea bunnies toxic?

Yes, sea slugs have a venom that is toxic to starfish and other marine life, but they do not release their venom until they are consumed by a predator.

This gives sea slugs a secret weapon, rendering themselves harmless to other predators, like themselves.

Are sea bunnies toxic to humans?

Yes. Sea bunnies are a type of nudibranch sea slug that steals the toxic defenses of its meals. They typically eat toxic sponges and other marine creatures that can make them more toxic. They store these toxins and stinging cells from hydrozoans in their rear.

As they are very toxic, these creatures have the protection of being avoided by many predators. That means humans are also included in this group that cannot eat or interact with sea bunnies. You cannot eat them or else you will be exposed to the toxins and stinging cells.

What eats a sea bunny?

Due to its toxic nature, predators that eat sea bunnies are blasted with poisonous toxins. The sea bunny has very few natural predators because they warn them ahead of time. Predators know to avoid brightly colored prey. Their small size makes them a deadly but tiny snack.

Sea bunnies range from white with dark spots to yellow or orange in color. These bright colors tell predators that they are poisonous, and help to prevent the sea bunny from being eaten.

Even though sea bunnies have very few natural predators, you won’t see them multiplying in abundance. These creatures have short lifespans of a few months to around one year and sea bunnies are mostly solitary, so they have to work hard to procreate.

Sea bunnies use their rhinophores to locate potential mates. The sea slugs are hermaphrodites like other nudibranchs, meaning that all of their offspring are siblings. They can act as female by producing the young or as male by fertilizing another sea bunny’s eggs.

Can you eat a sea slug?

Some sea slugs are edible, but they don’t taste very good. They have mucus coatings that make them taste bitter.

Most predators to sea slugs are crabs, lobsters, and fish. Nudibranchs that are poisonous have few predators, however, because the predators do not want to be poisoned by their food. They avoid sea bunnies because they know if could be their last meal.

How do sea bunnies mate?

Sea bunnies are hermaphrodites like other nudibranchs, but they still need another sea bunny to have offspring. 

It takes a lot of energy to be a hermaphrodite, which is why you will only find sea bunnies where there is a lot of food. A lot of calories are burned when the sea bunny produces eggs and sperm. They mostly eat toxic corals, sponges, and hydrozoans with stinging cells. 

A single sea bunny is producing eggs and sperm continuously to prepare for mating. When they find that mate, they get right down to business.

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