Sea gooseberry

Pleurobrachia bachei

ORDER Cydippida

FAMILY

Pleurobrachiidae TAXONOMY

Pleurobrachia bachei A. Agassiz, 1860.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Globular in shape with two tentacles (each of which have secondary tentacles). The tentacle sheaths are found at a distance from the infundibulum rather than next to it. Of particular note is that species in this family do not appear to have bioluminescent capabilities (unlike other ctenophores).

DISTRIBUTION

Worldwide distribution.

HABITAT

Surface waters both near shore and open ocean. BEHAVIOR

Has the oral end at the opposite end to where the tentacles originate. Due to this, it exhibits a stereotypical feeding behavior consisting of contracting the tentacle with prey and rapidly spinning around, wrapping the tentacle around the body, and eventually swiping the tentacle across the mouth region and ingesting the prey.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Predators on small crustaceans, it exhibits some prey selectivity. Patchy in distribution and have the potential to strip a water column of small zooplankton.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY Hermaphroditic, with direct development.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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