Cestum veneris Lesueur, 1813 (= Cestus veneris Chun, 1879 and 1880).
OTHER COMMON NAMES
I Cestum veneris I Vallicula multiformis
Ribbon-shaped, reaching lengths of 4.9 ft (1.5 m) but only 3.1 in (8 cm) in width. The ctene rows are all on one side of this ribbon, with the mouth on the other.
Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic, and Mediterranean waters.
HABITAT Surface waters.
Has an escape behavior that consists of a snakelike undulation of the long body enabling the ctenophore to move several body lengths in seconds.
Swims horizontally in the water column, moving 3.2-6.5 ft (1-2 m) before moving vertically (up or down 1.9-3.9 in [5-10 cm]) and reversing direction. This behavior results in the cestid retracing its original path offset by 1.9-3.9 in (5-10 cm) above or below. Prey capture is on the tentacles lying over the body and the ctenes generate small vortices that may enhance prey movement and capture as the cestid moves back and forth through the water. Prey includes copepods and small mollusks.
Eggs and sperm develop in the meridional canals in a similar fashion as most other ctenophores.
CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦
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