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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Not quite the end

On 19 October 2014, I wondered if we'd seen the last of the live By-the-wind Sailors (Velella velella) washing ashore in 2014.  Well, I don't know if anyone else has seen others since then, but Eric and I spotted three individuals on Salmon Creek Beach on 27 October 2014.

All three were very small10, 12, and 15 mm long.  Here's one example:


Bieri (1977) proposed a growth rate for Velella of ~0.5 mm per day.  If this estimate is accurate, these individuals could be ~20-30 days old, and it's possible they're the offspring of the adults that were visible in late summer/early fall. 

So it's not quite the end of the 2014 Velella strandings yet.  Let me know if you see others washed ashore (or floating at sea)!

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