COMB JELLIES Phylum CTENOPHORA

Includes the comb jellies, sea gooseberries and sea walnuts.
The gelatinous, transparent comb jellies superficially resemble the pulsating “jellies” or medusoid cnidaria, but it is their feeble but steady locomotion that truly sets them apart. This movement occurs via the rhythmic beating of countless tiny cilia (hairs) that are arranged in eight rows of ctenes (comb plates). Like lines of longitude upon a mini-globe, these rows adorn the usually spherical or oval body of each comb jelly, as shown in the photograph of a translucent comb jelly (CT5). Each ctene is essentially a tiny row of cilia fused at one end and protruding at the other, like the teeth of a mini-comb. Often sunlight (or artificial light at night) diffracted by these rows of beating cilia—a pulsating light show—is the only visual evidence of a comb jelly.
Fewer than 30 species of comb jellies or ctenophores live in the marine waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Further Reading
Wrobel, David, and Claudia Mills, 1998, Pacific Coast Pelagic Invertebrates, Monterey CA: Sea Challengers, 108 pp.

CT1. SEA GOOSEBERRY, sea walnut, sea walnut comb jelly, cat’s eye ctenophore, cat’s eye comb jelly, cat’s eyes, cats eyes, combjelly, comb jelly

Pleurobrachia bachei

CT2. OVAL SEA GOOSEBERRY

Euplokamis dunlapae

CT3. LOBED SEA GOOSEBERRY, fragile combjelly, fragile comb jelly

Bolinopsis infundibulum, Bolinopsis septentrionalis, Bolina microptera

CT4. ORANGE-TIPPED SEA GOOSEBERRY

Leucothea pulchra

CT5. TRANSLUCENT COMB JELLIES

Beroe spp., including Beroe gracilis, Beroe abyssicola, Beroe forskalii