Milne Edwards, 1841, top; B.
cucumis Fabricius, 1780, 2nd; B. gracilis Kunne, 1939, third; B. abyssicola
Mortensen, 1927, bottom|
Phylum Ctenophora / Order Beroida / Family Beroidae
Beroe forskalii is an impressive comb jelly, attaining lengths of up to 15 cm. It has a broader mouth than the other three species and is particularly fond of lobate comb jellies like Leucothea and Bolinopsis. B. forskalii can swell to ridiculous proportions after consuming an entire prey individual. Beroe gracilis is a more modest 3 cm, while the more common Beroe cucumis can reach lengths of 6 to 10 cm. B. cucumis will dine on other species of Beroe and in captive situations inevitably wins out; it also preys on lobate and cydippid ctenophores. In Monterey Bay it can be found in dense surface aggregations of several hundred within a small area. Beroe abyssicola is more of a deep water species, where it has an attractive rose coloration. This coloration tends to be lost when it visits surface waters, but the distinctive dark color of the pharynx often remains. Like other comb jellies, these Beroe have bioluminescent areas of the body. Beroe are a popular display for public aquariums featuring jellies. Since culturing them is not feasible, they must be collected. Feeding is a problem unless a reliable supply of comb jelly prey is available.
All photographs © David Wrobel and may not be used or copied without permission!Home