Below: A sea angel, Clione limacina. Predator of the butterfly snail.
Clione limacina, the angel of the sea,
a dove-diving belle, her widely silken wings unfurled.
Alas! This is not the beauty you invite to tea,
though her fire does blossom rosily in a cold and distant world.
Limacina helicina, the flutter-hearted snail,
the butterfly which lights the black against the angler’s lure:
Fly with us! cry the gossamer swarms, the twilight life is hale
But stay away, I you conseil, from even beasts demure
as these. Avast! Here swoops the flame-thorned angel-horned ballerina,
One bright gulp, and she’s dined upon our fluttering helicina.
Would you be next, soft-bodied gazer, with your Latinized heart screaming,
or would you bury it in books, and leave the fairy-deep
to its own lone sea-dreaming?
Above: A butterfly snail, Limacina helicina antarctica.
Image credits in order of appearance:
By Kevin Raskoff. Credit: Hidden Ocean 2005 Expedition: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration. (NOAA Photo Library: expl0391) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By R. Giesecke – Hunt B., Strugnell J., Bednarsek N., Linse K., Nelson R. J., Pakhomov E., Seibel B., Steinke D. & Würzberg L. (2010). “Poles Apart: The “Bipolar” Pteropod Species Limacina helicina Is Genetically Distinct Between the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans”. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9835. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009835., CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12852207