The enchanting waters of Indonesia have seized global attention due to their captivating beauty and rich marine biodiversity. Amidst the array of fascinating marine life, one finds the sea hare, scientifically known as Jorunna Parva, also recognized as the sea snail in Indonesia. While it may not be widely known among the Indonesian populace, sea hares possess a distinct charm and uniqueness of their own.
Jorunna Parva, or sea hares, exhibit diverse physical traits characterized by striking colors such as brown, white, yellow, and green. Similar to most sea snails, sea hares commence their life journey with shells that are shed before reaching adulthood.
The sea hare’s coat, resembling the white fur of a land hare, is actually comprised of small stalks known as caryophllidia. Some of these stalks terminate with black knobs, contributing to the sea hare’s body a mottled appearance. Furthermore, sea hares feature distinctive appendages, including two long antennae reminiscent of rabbit ears, termed rhinophores, adorned with small flaps.
Carnivorous Behavior and Cannibalism:
Despite their aesthetically pleasing appearance, sea rabbits are carnivorous and even exhibit cannibalistic tendencies. They prey on various sea creatures such as sponges, anemones, corals, hydroids, and fish eggs. In specific scenarios, sea hares may even resort to preying on fellow sea hares, particularly the young ones.
Habitat and Distribution:
Sea hares inhabit various environments, ranging from shallow muddy waters and coral reefs to seas exceeding one kilometer in depth. While they can thrive in both warm and cold waters, even in Arctic regions and near underwater volcanoes, they demand non-negotiable conditions for their habitat, emphasizing clean waters free from pollutants. Indonesia boasts several locations like Triton Bay, Batu Dawa, Sangeang Island, and the waters northeast of Sulawesi, serving as homes to these sea rabbits.
Reproduction and Threats:
Sea hares, being hermaphroditic, possess both male and female genital organs within a single body. Despite this, they engage in copulation with other sea hares to avoid self-fertilization. Fertilized eggs are carefully laid on coral reefs, and the presence of environmental pollutants poses a significant threat to sea hare populations. Regrettably, the lifespan of sea hares is relatively brief, ranging from a few weeks to a maximum of one year, posing challenges to research efforts on their life and evolution.
Protection and Conservation:
As integral contributors to the marine ecosystem’s food chain, safeguarding sea hares and their habitats is imperative. A conscientious approach toward maintaining water and coral reef cleanliness, coupled with dedicated marine conservation initiatives, serves as the linchpin to ensuring the survival of these beautiful and unique sea hares. Let us not permit their beauty to become a mere historical footnote for future generations.
In conclusion, sea hares emerge as remarkable marine creatures boasting vibrant beauty and distinctive anatomy. Their diverse species and environmental sensitivity underscore the need for concerted efforts to protect and preserve them, fostering equilibrium in our extraordinary marine ecosystem.