This beautiful little creature is the glaucus atlanticus, also known as the blue dragon or blue ocean slug. They float upside down on the surface of the water where they are subject to winds and ocean currents and sometimes find themselves washed ashore. In San Diego, we witness the stranding of many pelagic animals, such as the recent not-to-often tuna crab "invasion" of our area beaches and annually, jellyfish.
This rare nudibranch is pelagic and there is some evidence that it occurs in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world's oceans. They live in warm temperate climates in the Southern Pacific, and in Circumtropical and Lusitanian environments off the western Atlantic coast.
This is an El Nino year, strange things can happen and if, and it is a longshot, you see these beautiful animals washed up on shore on a San Diego beach, do not handle them! They are highly toxic themselves, and also able to swallow the venomous nematocysts from the much larger Portuguese man o' war and store them, increasing their toxicity. Picking up a tiny blue dragon can result in a painful and even deadly sting with symptoms similar to those caused by the Portuguese man o' war.
Here are yesterday's counts:
4 anglers aboard the Impulse 1/2 day am run caught 1 yellowtail and 13 yellowfin tuna.
48 anglers total between the Dolphin 1/2 day am and pm trips boated 15 yellowtail and 41 calico bass. Another 60 calicos were caught and released.
The Commander took 17 anglers out aboard their 1.5 day trip and only found 1 bluefin tuna.
19 anglers aboard the Pegasus 1.5 day trip boated 58 yellowfin tuna and 8 dorado
The Maximus 1.5 day trip carrying 14 anglers reported 8 yellowtail, 69 yellowfin tuna, 14 dorado and 3 bluefin tuna caught.
The Pacific Quest 1 day carrying 4 anglers returned to the dock with 8 dorado and limits of 40 yellowfin tuna.
19 anglers aboard the Pacific Queen 2 day trip put 4 yellowtail, 25 dorado and 39 yellowfin tuna in the hold.
The Legend 1.5 day trip with 27 anglers aboard reported 60 yellowfin tuna and 5 dorado caught.
21 anglers aboard the Relentless 1.5 day caught 30 yellowfin tuna.
Vendetta 3/4 Day 13 26 Dorado, 65 Yellowfin Tuna
The First String carried 30 anglers out on a 1 day trip and reported 11 yellowfin tuna, 4 dorado and 28 bluefin tuna caught.
12 yellowtail, 5 dorado and 6 yellowfin tuna were caught by 9 anglers aboard the Old Glory 1 day trip.
The Malihini 3/4 day run with 51 anglers at the rail reported 4 dorado, 1 yellowfin tuna and 2 yellowtail caught.
The Premier 1/2 day am run with 50 anglers on the deck returned to the dock with 2 sand bass, 17 yellowtail and 25 calico bass in the gunnysacks.
The El Capitan 1.5 day trip with 18 anglers aboard reported 15 yellowtail, 3 yellowfin and 26 dorado caught.
16 anglers aboard the Grande 1 day trip boated 1 Dorado,18 bluefin tuna and 19 yellowfin tuna.
The Mission Belle 3/4 day run with 21 anglers at the rail called in with 15 bonito, 8 barracuda and limits of 105 yellowtail in the sacks.
48 anglers combined aboard the Daily Double am and pm 1/2 day runs caught 3 bonito, 21 yellowtail and 1 calico bass.
The Point Loma 3/4 day run with 28 anglers aboard reported 20 yellowtail, 39 dorado and 27 yellowfin tuna caught.
122 anglers total aboard the New Seaforth 1/2 day am, pm and twilight runs accounted for a combined catch of 19 yellowtail, 1 barracuda, 11 rockfish and 204 calico bass, of which 100 were released.
The Eclipse 1.5 day trip carrying 24 anglers reported 3 yellowfin tuna, 20 dorado and 2 bluefin tuna caught.
20 anglers aboard the Cortez 1.5 day run put 15 yellowtail and 21 dorado in the hold.
The Voyager 1.5 day with 18 anglers aboard returned to the dock with 4 yellowtail, 21 yellowfin tuna and 15 dorado in the hold.
13 anglers aboard the Outer Limits 1.5 day trip boated 20 yellowfin tuna, 26 dorado and 10 yellowtail.
The Tribute 1 day trip with 13 anglers aboard reported 3 yellowtail, 17 yellowfin tuna and 26 bluefin tuna caught.
9 anglers aboard the Aztec 1 day trip caught 18 bluefin tuna, 5 dorado, 5 yellowfin tuna and 10 yellowtail.
7 yellowfin tuna were caught by the 6 anglers aboard the El Gato Dos 3/4 day run.
The Alexes 3/4 day carrying 3 anglers reported 7 dorado, 4 yellowfin tuna and 7 yellowtail caught.
19 anglers aboard the Pacific Voyager 3 day trip boated 3 yellowtail, 91 yellowfin tuna, 42 dorado and 26 bluefin tuna.
The San Diego 3/4 day run carrying 51 anglers returned to the dock with 24 dorado and 26 yellowfin tuna in the gunnysacks.