Naked Sea Butterfly
That might sound like a strippers name from the little mermaid, but these little creatures are all over our surf areas at the beach. They appear when we have an upwelling of water. Warm water is pushed off the coast by wind, and the colder water that “upwells” brings all kinds of interesting critters with it. Upwelling is also how we get all those clear blobs, or salps washing up. Naked Sea Butterflies are harmless and do not sting. Shout out ot Kevin Golden for the ID.
Naked sea butterflies ( Clione limacina) are a mollusk found from the arctic to Cape Hatteras. They are predators of shelled sea butterflies. They latch onto the shell of the sea butterfly and pull them out of their shell. Naked sea butterflies in turn are food for the baleen whales, such as humpbacks and bowheads.
The orange mass known ans the The visceral mass, contains the digestive, respiratory, excretory and reproductive organs. They are one to two inches long, and the tail is also orange. When they swim, they have tiny wing like fins for mobility. They are related to snails and seas slugs.