Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Diet of the invasive sea slug Pleurobranchaea maculata in Patagonian coastal waters.

Abstract

High densities of the invasive sea slug, Pleurobranchaea maculata, have been detected on the Argentinean coast, but studies on the species' adaptation have been absent until now. Stomach contents of P. maculata in two sampling sites located at Golfo Nuevo, Patagonia Argentina, revealed animals as a major prey, but surprisingly algae ingestion on both sampling sites was abundant. This fact was not reported in previous studies that described opportunistic carnivorous feeding habits of species belonging to the genus Pleurobranchaea. Significant differences in the species prey items were found between sampling sites; however, sedentary polychaetes were the main consumed group at both sites. These results are useful to understand the adaptation of this invasive species in Argentinean waters and to monitor future changes in the benthic communities colonised by P. maculata.