New Zealand and southeastern Australia.
Adult on egg ribbon, on Codium. Two-Fold Bay, southern New South Wales, March 1986. PHOTO: Bill Rudman.
Grows to about 25mm. Found throughout the year on Codium, this predominantly green species gets its colouration from the Codium chloroplasts in the fine branching ducts of the digestive system. Its reproductive system and mating behaviour have been exhaustively studied in New Zealand (Reid, 1964). It mates by hypodermic insemination, depositing sperm by piercing the body wall of its partner. In most cases the penis pierces the body wall at the posterior end of the parapodia, usually on the right side. How it pierces the body wall is unknown, because unlike other sacoglossans which practice hypodermic insemination, it does not have a penial stylet.
• Reid, J.D. (1964) The reproduction of the ascoglossan opisthobranch Elysia maoria. Proceedings of the Zoological Society, London, 143(3): 365-393.
Rudman, W.B., 2000 (April 8) Elysia maoria Powell, 1937. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/elysmaor