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Wild Love Stories; CA Brown Sea Hare, “Two’s Company, Three’s A Mating Chain”

Posted on: Feb 19, 2021 / News / 0 COMMENTS

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Wild Love Stories

California Brown Sea Hare, “Two’s Company, Three’s a Mating Chain” 

By Whitney Thompson

When looking for wild love stories in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, look no further than the California Brown Sea Hare (Aplysia californica). Capable of growing up to 16 inches in length, these marine snails (although they look more like sea slugs) are easily recognizable with their mottled brown bodies and two tentacles (rhinophores) on the top of their head that resemble the ears of a hare.

Photo by Ross Griswold

During the breeding season, California Brown Sea Hares are infamous for being spotted in piles, lines, or circles in the shallow waters of Bolsa Chica. This gathering of sea hares is referred to as a mating chain.. Sea hares are hermaphrodites, and each individual has both a male and female reproductive system that operate independently of the other. This means that chains of sea hares are all impregnating and getting pregnant at the same time. A truly wild way to reproduce for a mollusk. 

After the California Brown Sea Hare is done, they will lay their eggs around something solid (from kelp to rocks). The eggs range from yellow to orange, and each sea hare lays up to 80 million eggs! These eggs are laid in a transparent, jelly-like “tube”, but because there are so many eggs, the tube itself looks the color of the eggs. In less than two weeks, these vibrant eggs will darken into a brown, and the babies will hatch as microscopic plankton in the water.


These many different love stories can be a metaphor for supporting non-profit organizations like the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Whether you chose to Volunteer your time, Donate Today, or just spread the word of an organization, these strategies can all have equal success! Go to www.bolsachica.org and choose which strategy works best for you!

Donate to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy Today!

Support the Conservancy Everytime you Make a Purchase on Amazon!

Shoppers who start at smile.amazon.com will find the same Amazon they know and love, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the price of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.

Signing up is easy!

Here’s how to sign up for AmazonSmile:

1. Visit smile.amazon.com

2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials

3. Search for and Select the Bolsa Chica Conservancy

4. Start shopping!

5. Add a bookmark for smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile

Turn on AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app

1. Make sure you’re signed up for AmazonSmile (use your web browser to visit smile.amazon.com)

2. Download or update to the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app for iOS or Android

3. Open the app and find “Settings” in the main menu (☰)

4. Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile in the app.

Bolsa Chica Conservancy





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