No common name

Thalassocalyce inconstans

ORDER

Cydippida

FAMILY

Thalassocalycidae TAXONOMY

Thalassocalyce inconstans Madin and Harbison, 1978.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Ctenophore with tentacles that have lateral filaments, a medusa-like body, short ctene rows, and a mouth at the apex of a central conical peduncle. The order Thalassocalycida has one family, one genus, and one species currently described. It is morphologically distinct from the Cydippida and the Lobata, appearing to be an intermediate step between these two orders.

DISTRIBUTION

Originally described from the slope waters off New England; found in other oceans as well. It is more of an open-ocean species, its relative fragility making it too delicate to survive near shore.

HABITAT

Found from the surface waters down to 9,070 ft (2,765 m). BEHAVIOR

Likely an ambush predator, waiting for and capturing prey within its bell. When startled, it rapidly squeezes the bell, forc ing water out and propelling the animal backwards. This escape behavior is limited to that single clap and distances traveled are 1-2 body lengths.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Copepods.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY Presumably hermaphroditic.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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