Behind the scenes

Sea butterflies in Monterey Bay

Stephaniepteropods

Stephanie Bush uses a long pole with a cup attached to collect sea butterflies in the waters below the Monterey Municipal Wharf.

January 13, 2014

Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral fellow at MBARI, is studying the biodiversity of pteropods, also known as sea butterflies because they have wing-shaped membranes located on each side of their heads. The sea butterfly Corolla spectabilis can sometimes be found in large aggregations in Monterey Bay. The Monterey Abalone Company farms its product in barrels hanging below the Monterey Municipal Wharf, where it has collected pteropods swimming alongside the abalone for Stephanie. She will extract the pteropod DNA and compare it to that of others she has previously collected. Read more about Stephanie’s work with pteropods in our expedition logbook.

Image: Stephanie Bush uses a long pole with a cup attached to collect sea butterflies in the waters below the Monterey Municipal Wharf.