Sea Gooseberry - Pleurobrachia

© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
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Photograph by Peter Parks

This juvenile comb jelly, commonly known as a Sea Gooseberry, is of the order Cydippida, family Pleurobrachiidae. The body of this organism is spherical in shape, about 15 mm in diameter, and ornamented along its length with rows of comb-plates. The mouth is small, with the pharynx usually less than half the total body length. It has long, retractable tentacles arising from within sheaths on opposite sides of the body. The Sea Gooseberry acts as an ambush predator, setting its tentacles by swimming upwards in a spiral; the body spins to bring a food laden tentacle to the mouth. It preys on copepods, larval fish and various other small zooplankton. Unlike most ctenophores Pleurobrachia lacks any kind of bioluminescence. This genus has a broad distribution, ranging from Alaskan to Mexican waters.

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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