By-the-Wind Sailor

By-The-Wind Sailor (Velella velella)

Contributed by TPERP Art Geisler

D. Wieder

Where to find them: They live in warm water at the surface of the water. They are deep blue in color and have a small stiff sail that catches the wind to propel them.

What do they eat: Plankton

Who eats them: Nudibranchs, snails, molluscs

Adaptations: It begins its life in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the wind brings it towards the shores and gets stranded on the beach.

Reproduction: Each individual is a hydroid colony containing either all male or all female polyps. They reproduce asexually releasing thousands of medusae maturing in about three weeks.

What’s their life like: They are subject to the prevailing winds. It is limited to surface food.

Interesting facts: They can only propel themselves by the sail in the wind so they can become stranded on beaches, numbering in the thousands.



Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hydrozoa
Order: Anthomedusae
Family: Porpitdae
Scientific Name: Velella velella
Common Name(s): Sea Raft, by-the-wind sailor, purple sail, little sail

Source(s) of Information:

Last revised 15-Apr-23