Velella velella

Velella velella
By-the-wind Sailor

Mild stinging


It is a mild-stinging species and therefore with little or no effect on humans. Even so, it is recommended not to touch it since it may produce some type of dermal reaction after the contact in very sensitive persons.


The life cycle stage often seen of Velellavelella is not the free-swimming jellyfish but a floating colony of specialized polyps. It is composed of an oval and blue disc and a triangular or semicircular sail perpendicular to the disc. The diameter of the disc can reach 8 cm in diameter. Under the veil of the disk are the blue polyps, each specialized in a particular function, such as feeding and defense or reproduction.

The sail is oriented to the right in some individuals and to the left in others, that is to say, depending on the direction of the wind, the individuals will be dragged or not towards a certain site.


Along the Catalan coast, as in the entire Mediterranean basin, they are very frequent, especially towards the end of winter and during the spring. They can form large swarms occupying even several kilometers of distance.

Distribution and Habitat

It inhabits both warm and temperate waters of the world's oceans, being very common in the Mediterranean. It lives in the water-air interface, with the sail on the surface of the water.