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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Sea Slater Ligia oceanica

Commonly found under stones and in rock crevices, the sea slater is a seashore-dwelling relative of the woodlouse. It lives in the splash zone, but can survive periods of immersion in salt water. Its head, which has a pair of well-developed compound eyes and very long antennae, is not markedly separated from its body, which is flattened, about twice as long as it is broad, and ends in two forked projections called uropods. As adults, sea slaters have six pairs of walking legs until their final molt, after which they have seven. The sea slater is not generally seen during the day unless it is disturbed, and it emerges from its hiding place only at night to feed on detritus and brown seaweed. Sea slaters mature at about two years of age and usually breed only once before dying.

Sea Slaterzoom image
  • Subphylum Crustacea
  • Length Up to 1 in (3 cm)
  • Habitat Coasts with rocky substrata
  • Distribution Atlantic coasts of northwestern Europe
Sea Slater habitat mapzoom image