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
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
kinds near the mouth, between the lobes. One type of tentacle
branched and arises from sheaths near the mouth. The other
small but abundant, in tracts leading to the mouth. The body
of this species is smooth and colorless except for rows of dark spots
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
lines. Length to 15 cm, usually smaller.
Common name(s): Lobed sea gooseberry, lobate ctenophore, comb jelly
alata, Bolinopsis septentrionalis, Bolinopsis microptera
in the Friday Harbor Marina, San Juan Island, WA by Janine Fetke July,
2009. Length approximately 2.3 cm.
Cowles, July 2009)
How to Distinguish
This is one of the few lobate ctenophores in our waters.
similar species are highly flattened, but this species is not
Others may be able to clap their lobes together in a "frog kick" for
swimming, but this species cannot.
to arctic, Pacific southern CA to Arctic, Arctic oceans. This
the most common lobate ctenophore along our Pacific coast.
Surface to 1000 m
(largest individuals live deeper)
This species mostly cruises vertically, upward or downward.
the individuals we captured had recently swallowed a copepod.
be eaten by Beroe
This ctenophoe is luminescent.
and Fairbanks, 1966 (as B. microptera)
and Snook, 1955 (as B. microptera)
and Hanby, 2005
and Johnson, 1996
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
In this view the dark spots which are in rows along the
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)