Cliopsis

Cliopsis krohni Troschel, 1854 : Sea Angel (Pteropod)
Phylum Mollusca / Class Gastropoda / Subclass Ophisthobranchia / Order Gymnosomata / Family Cliopsidae
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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.

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