Wednesday, July 16, 2014

sea butterfly ~ 07/16/14 ~ Asilomar Beach


pseudoconch of the sea butterfly

Given my fondness for butterflies, I did not, however, make up the name.  There were a handful of these firm, flexible, and bumpy clear things washed up along the tide line.  It resembles and actually fit like one of those rubber finger tips that old school secretaries used to file paperwork.  I liken finding the pseudoconch similar to finding an empty snail shell.  Online pictures of the animal itself make no sense to me.  Click the scientific name above for an excellent diver's summary with gorgeous photos.  Apparently, the sea butterfly is more closely related to the sea hare than the floating sea snail.  Go figure.  Marine life is such an alien world to me.

ps 10/09/16 - Apparently these don't seem to have a particular season.  Andy and I went out to Asilomar today and found numerous sea butterfly carcasses on the beach.

5 comments:

John W. Wall said...

Nice to get these hints of the mysteries that reign in the deeps.

biobabbler said...

Wow. Super interesting. I agree 100% w/unabated what-the-heck? feeling whilst looking at the photos of that creature.

And thank you, BTW, for directing me to that page, as the following DELIGHTFUL description was there:
"One of the most enchanting and graceful gelatinous blobs..." =)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Ah! John, I just discovered you have a new blog. More seashore focused? I'm looking forward to seeing some nudibranchs.

bb, I always appreciate your enthusiasm. Nature is amazing.

John W. Wall said...

I might find nudibranchs at Duxbury Reef, which is still part of Pt. Reyes. I just came back to this post of yours because I was psyched to see an article about sea butterflies in Sierra magazine: http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2014-5-september-october/critter/sea-butterfly

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks for the article, John. I can see why that species is named sea butterfly. Acidification of the world's oceans is not often talked about and is just as scary as climate change.