Velella velella  "By-the-wind Sailor"

     This specimen was photographed by Joel Wooster on the beach at Wilbur-by-the-Sea, north of Ponce Inlet, Volusia Co., Florida on 3/21/2008. Velella vella use their small stiff sail to catch the wind which propels them over the surface of the sea. Although they are pelagic and found world-wide, By-the-wind Sailors are not usually encountered in northeast Florida. However, at some other locations they are found beached by the thousands.

Velella velella  "By-the-wind Sailor"