Ctenophores

Below you’ll see examples of ctenophores I’ve encountered on the surf-swept shores of the northern Oregon coast. Unfortunately, these are just the ones I’ve come across and have photos of, not an exhaustive detail of what you could find. Field guides and online resources (see References at the bottom of this page) can help identify beach cast ctenophores, but other than Pleurobrachia, I’ve found the ctenophores tricky.

My organization more or less follows Lamb and Hanby (2005). Common names are my choice, usually some combination of those in Lamb and Hanby (2005) and Harbo (2011). I refer to WoRMS for scientific names, and I learn a ton by browsing the natural history riches in Kozloff (1993). All photos are from northern Oregon beaches unless otherwise noted.

Sea gooseberry, Pleurobrachia bachei
Sea gooseberries are the most common beachcast ctenophore on the beaches I frequent.


I’m not sure what the gem below is. It could be Beroe, but then again, there are alternatives. Whatever it is, its length length is about 6-7 cm. If you have ideas about what it is, please let me know.


References

Harbo, R. M. 2011. Whelks to Whales: Coastal Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. 2nd ed. Harbour Publishing Co.

Kozloff, E. N. 1993. Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast. 3rd ed. University of Washington Press.

Lamb, A. and B. P. Hanby. 2005. Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. Harbour Publishing.

Sept. J. D. 2009. The Beachcomber’s Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest. Revised ed. Harbour Publishing.


Online Resources

Biodiversity of the Central Coast’s Cnidarians and Ctenophores.

The iNaturalist page on Beroe.

And for comparison, it’s also worth checking out the iNaturalist page on Bolinopsis infundibulum.


I updated this page on September 20, 2022.