Below you’ll see examples of ctenophores I’ve encountered on the surf-swept shores of the northern Oregon coast. These are just the ones I’ve come across and have photos of; not an exhaustive accounting. Field guides and online resources (see References, at the bottom of this page) can help with identification of beach cast ctenophores you come across, but other than Pleurobrachia, it’s 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 in the caption.

Sea gooseberry, Pleurobrachia bachei- The most common beach cast ctenophore. You cans find these little round comb jellies in the drift line all year long, but early summer is a good bet. This photo was taken in June.


Beroe? I’m not sure what this one is. Whole ones are uncommon. The body length of this one is about 7 cm. If you have ideas about what it is, please let me know.

Western gull track for scale


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

Field Guide to Oregon’s Rocky Intertidal

Biodiversity of the Central Coast’s Cnidarians and Ctenophores

The JelliesZone page on ctenophores