MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Sea gooseberry (Pleurobrachia pileus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Pleurobrachia pileus is a small, oval to spherical comb jelly, up to 1-2.5 cm high with two long fishing tentacles. The fishing tentacles are up to 15-20 times the length of the body (up to 50 cm long), bear lateral filaments, and can be completely retracted into the body. It swims with eight longitudinal combs, arranged in four paired rows, that give the comb jellies (ctenophores) their characteristic shimmering appearance. These combs consist of plates of transverse rows of hairs that beat in waves downwards, which produces the shimmering effect. These plates are phosphorescent at night. The gut may bear some colour. Newly hatched specimens are pear-shaped and bear only short rows of combs.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common in open water all around Britain and Ireland, especially in the summer.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Pelagic in coastal waters but may sometimes become trapped in intertidal pools.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Transparent ovoid to spherical body 1-2.5 cm high.
  • Radially symmetrical with secondary bilateral symmetry.
  • Eight longitudinal rows of combs, arranged in four paired rows.
  • Two fishing tentacles up to 50 cm long. Lateral filaments of fishing tentacles similar.

Additional information

Pleurobrachia pileus is a carnivore, preying on zooplankton, especially copepods. In British waters it is most abundant in summer and late autumn (Fish & Fish, 1996).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  2. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Greve, W., 1975. Ctenophora. ICES Plankton Identification Leaflets, 146.

  4. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

Datasets

  1. Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre, 2017. BRERC species records recorded over 15 years ago. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/h1ln5p accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  4. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  6. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank (unverified). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/iou2ld accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  7. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank Active Naturalists (unverified). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/smzyqf accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  8. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  9. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, 2017. NBIS Records to December 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jca5lo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-10-19

  12. Outer Hebrides Biological Recording, 2018. Invertebrates (except insects), Outer Hebrides. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hpavud accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  13. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Marine and other Aquatic Invertebrates (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/zxy1n6 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  14. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service., 2017. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS) Dataset. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ab4vwo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Neal, K.J. 2005. Pleurobrachia pileus Sea gooseberry. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 19-10-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2050

Last Updated: 23/05/2005