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Elysia ornata is a highly variable species with sedentary and migratory forms. The sedentary form has tall, thin parapodia containing elaborate ramifications of the digestive gland. The parapodia usually meet in a more or less continuous line without obvious chimneys and are opaque-olive with cream patches and black spots. There is a continuous black marginal line and an orange submarginal line punctuated with white spots. The rhinophores are opaque-olive with orange and black tips. Occasional animals may lack most of the green pigment and much of the marginal black line (perhaps, due to chloroplast loss with senescence?). The migratory form (shown above) is usually smaller, seldom exceeding 25 mm, with lower and proportionately thicker parapodia that are typically held in three chimneys. Unlike in the sedentary form, they contain relatively few branches of the digestive gland and usually appear translucent-cream. The black marginal line is variable in width and may be absent between the chimneys while the cream and black spots are proportionately larger. Small juveniles have irregular, opaque-white blotches rather than cloudy cream spots.