Green Tongue (Bonella Viridis)

Latin name: Bonella viridis
Common name: Green tongue
Family: Bonelliidae

Habitat: In and around rock crevices.

Reproduction, behaviour and shape: The walnut-sized body of the female hides in rock crevices; whilst its long, green tongue-like proboscis collects organic particles on the outside. This proboscis splits in two at the end and can extend over 80cm. All bonellia are female and can easily determine the sex of their larvae. If the drifting larvae (no more than 2mm long ), which land on the proboscis, are male, they cling on to the body and change into dwarf males. These then enter the intestines and sexual organs of the female. If the larvae are female, they do not attach themselves but will settle onto a suitable habitat and develop into females within a year.