Animals & Exhibits    >    Animal Guide    >    Invertebrates    >   

Hula skirt siphonophore

Hula skirt siphonophore

Not on Exhibit

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Physophora hydrostatica

  • Animal Type


  • Diet


  • Size

    to 16 inches (41 cm) long

  • Relatives

    other siphonophores; Order: Physonecta

  • Habitat

    Deep Sea

  • Range

    midwater (2,297-3,281 feet, or 700-1,000 m)

Natural History

This siphonophore has a float and swimming bells. It's able to regulate its density by changing the amount of gas in its float. The float has a pore at the bottom that emits gas and can be refilled with secretions produced by a special gland.


Anything that finds its way into the ocean—whether it's tossed away as trash or washed off a beach or boat—may eventually make its way to the deep sea. It's important to realize that the deep sea is not so far away that it's beyond the reach of human activities. Living creatures in the deep are affected by what we do at the surface.

Cool Facts

This siphonophore swims at an average speed of about one foot (0.3 m) a minute. During periods of strong upwelling, this animal can often be found at the surface, carried by strong vertical currents.

 Animal Guide Home