Comb jellyfish (Ctenophora) are the largest animal to use cilia (organelle used for movement) and are found in shallow and deep waters worldwide. A group of cilia together are called combs. Comb jellyfish are unique because they produce a rainbow effect that is caused by the scattering of light as the combs move. When they are in shallow waters they appear mostly clear, but deep water comb jellies have more pigmentation. The bloodbelly comb jelly is an example of a deep water jelly because of its red appearance. At the depth it lives, which is 700-1,000 meters, the color red appears black and blends into the dark background. There is many other comb jellyfish like the Cydippid or Lobates. The Cydippid can appear more round or cylindrical and have branched tentacles that can retract into pouches on either side of the pharynx (wide area that acts like a stomach). The Lobates have a pair of muscular lobes that are cuplike extension of the body that project beyond the mouth. Another interesting fact about comb jelly fish is that unlike jelly fish, they do not have stinger tentacles.
Cydippid Comb Jellyfish Lobates Comb Jellyfish
Bloodbelly Comb Jellyfish
Reference: “Ctenophora.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 June 2013. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
- Kathleen Ramm