PORT PHILLIP BAY


By-the-wind Sailor 

Velella velella (Linnaeus, 1758)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Raised transparent "sail" on a blue oval disk that has concentric circles. Body underneath is dark blue. Short fringing tentacles hang from the disc. Float up to 4 cm across.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Cnidaria
Class:
Hydrozoa
Subclass:
Anthoathecatae
Order:
Capitata
Family:
Porpitidae
Genus:
Velella
Species:
velella

General Description

Raised transparent "sail" on a blue oval disk that has concentric circles. Body underneath is dark blue. Short fringing tentacles hang from the disc. Float up to 4 cm across.

Biology

These animals float on the surface with their short tentacles hanging below in the water. Their movement is powered by the wind hitting the sail. Each batch of young has some animals with a right-hand sail and some with a left-hand sail, ensuring that they do not all get blown in one direction.

Habitat

Floating on the surface, may drift near shore due to tides and wind.

Open water

Distribution guide

Worldwide.

Species Group

Jellyfishes and allies Jellyfishes

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)

Water Column

Surface

Max Size

4 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Mild sting possible.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Browne, J.

Jo Browne is a consultant with expertise in ctenophore and cnidarian taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Browne, J., 2011, By-the-wind Sailor, Velella velella, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7759

Text: creative commons cc by licence