Bloodybelly comb jelly

At the Aquarium

Brilliant and seemingly glowing, the bloodybelly comb jelly comes in different shades of red but always has a blood-red stomach. The sparkling display on the outside comes from light diffracting from tiny transparent, hair-like cilia. These beat continuously, propelling the jelly through the water.

This species has only recently come to the attention of scientists, thanks to images like this, supplied by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's remotely operated vehicles.

Natural History

Ironically, at the depths where the bloodybelly lives, it's nearly invisible to predators. In the darkness of the deep sea, animals that are red appear black and blend into the dark background.

Conservation

The deep sea may seem remote, but deep sea animals are part of a thriving ecosystem. Our trash and chemicals may harm them if we are careless with our waste.

Cool Facts

Scientists believe the bloodybelly's red belly helps mask bioluminescent light from the prey it swallows. A predator with a glowing gut could easily become prey.

The bloodbelly's depth range is from 984 to 3,320 feet.

This jelly grows to a length of six inches.

The genus name Lampoctena derives from the Greek roots for "brilliant comb," referring to the bright iridescence diffracted from the animal's comb rows.