By-The-Wind Sailor (Velella velella)
Contributed by TPERP Art Geisler
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.
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