Bolinopsis infundibulum (O.F. Muller, 1776)

Common name(s): Lobed sea gooseberry, lobate ctenophore, comb jelly

Synonyms:Bolinopsis alata,  Bolinopsis septentrionalis, Bolinopsis microptera Bolinopsis infundibulum
Class Tentaculata 
Order Lobata 
Family Bolinopsidae 
Bolinopsis infundibulum found in the Friday Harbor Marina, San Juan Island, WA by Janine Fetke July, 2009.  Length approximately 2.3 cm.
(Photo by:  Dave Cowles, July 2009)
Description:   Like all ctenophores, this species swims by means of 8 ciliated (ctene) rows which meet at the aboral side and run down the sides of the body.  This ctenophore is a lobate ctenophore, meaning that it has two large lobes at its oral end (to the right in the photo above).  It has small tentacles of 2 different kinds near the mouth, between the lobes.  One type of tentacle is branched and arises from sheaths near the mouth.  The other type is small but abundant, in tracts leading to the mouth.  The body surface of this species is smooth and colorless except for rows of dark spots which continue along the body in the same line as the ctene rows (photo).  The ctene rows are not all the same length, and run only 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the body.  In large individuals these spots may be coalesced into lines.  Length to 15 cm, usually smaller.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:  This is one of the few lobate ctenophores in our waters.  Several similar species are highly flattened, but this species is not flattened.  Others may be able to clap their lobes together in a "frog kick" for escape swimming, but this species cannot.

Geographical Range:  Atlantic temperate to arctic, Pacific southern CA to Arctic, Arctic oceans.  This is the most common lobate ctenophore along our Pacific coast.

Depth Range:  Surface to 1000 m (largest individuals live deeper)

Habitat:  Pelagic

Biology/Natural History:   This species mostly cruises vertically, upward or downward.  One of the individuals we captured had recently swallowed a copepod.  May be eaten by Beroe ctenophores.  This ctenophoe is luminescent.



Dichotomous Keys:
  Carlton, 2007
  Flora and Fairbanks, 1966 (as B. microptera)
  Kozloff, 1987, 1996

General References:
  Johnson and Snook, 1955 (as B. microptera)
  Kozloff, 1993
  Lamb and Hanby, 2005
  Smith and Johnson, 1996

Scientific Articles:

Web sites:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

Black spots

In this view the dark spots which are in rows along the lobes in line with the ctene rows can be clearly seen.

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2009):  Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)