Sea Butterfly
Clione limacina

1/60s at f22, ASA 25, Kodachrome 25, Nikonos II w 35mm lens and 1:1 extension tube, Oceanic 2000 flash and aluminum flash reflector


"Clione limacina," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Distribution of Clione limacina include mostly in cold waters, as the Arctic Ocean to North Carolina, Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe in Northern Atlantic and North Pacific.They aggregate sometimes in considerable numbers before the coasts of Northern Europe. They feed in a predator-prey relationship only on the sea butterflies of the genus Limacina: on Limacina helicina and on Limacina retroversa. The feeding process of Clione limacina is somewhat extraordinary. The buccal apparatus consists of three pairs of buccal cones. These tentacles grab the shell of Limacina helicina. When the prey is in the right position, with its shell opening facing the radula of Clione limacina, it then grasps the prey with its chitinous hooks, everted from hook sacs. Then it extracts the body completely out of its shell and swallows it whole.It can survive one year without food. Under such exceptional starvation in the laboratory the length of slugs have changed on average from 22.4 to 12 mm. Clione limacina is a prey of planktonic feeders, such as the baleen whales, which historically led to sailors naming it "whale-food".
Eastport, Maine
 
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