No common name

Vallicula multiformis

ORDER Cydippida

FAMILY Coeloplanidae

TAXONOMY

Vallicula multiformis Rankin, 1956.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Nothing is known.

DISTRIBUTION

First described from Jamaica; has been found in warm shallow waters around the Pacific.

HABITAT

Living on mangroves or tunicates in Jamaica; often found on manmade objects such as piers. Also found on sea grasses (and often exported to aquaria accidentally).

BEHAVIOR

Glides over the substrate, stopping and forming small peaks through which the tentacles rise into the waters to forage for food. Most benthic ctenophores are highly substrate selective, but Vallicula is more of a generalist.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Copepods and larval decapods have been observed being caught and ingested. Diatoms have also been found within the stomach pouches. Unwanted food is wrapped up in mucus and ejected.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Viviparous, shedding embryos that are almost competent to settle.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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