Corolla ovate - a rare sea butterfly
This tiny sea butterfly spends its days floating in the ocean, feeding on plankton
by Becky Crew
FLOATING THROUGH THE ocean like a lonely spacecraft on a mission to smother its transparent hull in stars, Corolla ovate is a rarely encountered species of sea butterfly.
Found all around the world’s oceans at depths of up to 2km, this tiny creature is known to haunt the coast of Australia, in the Bismarck, Solomon and Coral seas up near the Cape York Peninsula and Papua New Guinea, and down south in the Bass Strait.
It’s delicate thing, at just 4cm long, and spends most of its days trying to avoid the enormous mucous webs laid out for it by carnivorous sea slugs called Cliopsis. Also known as sea angels, these formidable hunters are the sea butterfly’s own Doctor Who nightmare…
(read more: Australian Geographic)
photo by Philippe Poppe