Bits and Pieces
Lyall Bay beachgoers may have noticed a strange blue sea creature washing up on the sands this month.
NIWA identified the creature on its Facebook page as Valella valella - a species of hydrozoans belonging to the monotypic genus, of which it is the only member - after Kate Neill took these pictures of them on Lyall Bay beach.
Each organism is made up of a colony of hydroids and has carnivorous tentacles below their disc which are used to catch prey.
While they are related to the well-known and very dangerous Potuguese man o' war, the creatures are harmless to humans.
- © Fairfax NZ News