Bloodybelly comb jelly
NOT ON EXHIBIT
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.
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.
The deep sea may seem remote, but what we send down eventually cycles back up into our lives. Deep sea animals are part of a thriving ecosystem. Our trash and chemicals may harm them if we are careless with our waste.
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.
It 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.