As a gymnosome pteropod, Cliopsis
lacks a shell. The
relatively small lateral wings are used for swimming. This species has a slow,
deliberate mode of swimming compared to some of its gymnosome relatives. The body,
length to 4 cm, is somewhat flabby, with a crinkled appearance in larger
individuals. Upon contact with the feeding web of pseudothecosome prey such as Corolla
a very long proboscis, radular teeth and chitinous hooks are used to grasp the victim. Juveniles
(top photo) have a
more elongate body with a brownish-gold cast and rose tinge around the head. Ranging
down to depths of 1500 meters along the West Coast north of southern California, Cliopsis
is not an infrequent visitor to nearshore surface waters.
All photographs © David
Wrobel and may not be used or copied without permission!
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