19 June 2013

The red rainbow of the deep sea

The most amazing sea creatures can be found in the deep sea. One such species whose name can be a tongue twister is the bloodybelly comb jelly, Lampocteis cruentiventer

Photo by Kevin Raskoff/MBARI (c) 1999.

It is the only known species under the genus Lampocteis, first described and identified in 2001 by Harbison, Matusmoto and Robison. It was named as such because of its blood-red stomach. Light is diffracted from its ciliated comb rows that beat continuously to propel it through the water column. This contributes to the sparkling display of colors along its comb rows.


In the deep sea, shiny objects can be perceived as prey. However, despite its radiant color, this species is invisible to its predators. And, it also masks the bioluminescent prey it swallows from other potential predators. Taking advantage of the conditions of its environment, it has developed stealth to shield itself from prying predators. Not bad, aye?

If you want to share what you know about this species (e.g. morphology, distribution, life history, etc.) you can help us by becoming a collaborator, just e-mail us at sealifebase@fin.ph.

Visit SeaLifeBase to know more about comb jellies.

Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBARI). See page link here.

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