Beroe cucumis is a medium-sized comb jelly that can reach up to 150mm in length (1; 2); its body-form is sack or vase shaped and often compressed in the tentacular plane (1). Ciliary comb rows extend equally towards the mouth to about ¾ distance; branched papillae form around the pole plate of the aboral pole (1). Beroe’s comb jelly is radially symmetrical with a secondary bilateral symmetry (2); four meridional canals connect orally to the oral forks of the paragastric canal (1). The meridional canals have various diverticulae, although they have no anastomoses.
B. cucumis has a pink colouration, especially along the meridional canals and comb rows.
Beroe’s comb jelly is a pelagic species (2; 3) that displays nocturnal displays of bioluminescent light (2; 4).
B. cucumis is a deep-water, pelagic species (3).
B. cucumis is found in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, Antarctic Pacific, Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific (5).
B. cucumis is carnivorous, using its large mouth to ingest prey whole; it mainly feeds on other comb jellies, such as Bolinopsis infundibulum (1).
Not listed under the IUCN Redlist (6).
Description written by Ben Harvey (2009)
(1) Greve, W., 1975. Ctenophora. Fiches d’Identification du Zooplancton 146. Conseil International pour l’Exploration de la Mer, Kopenhagen.
(2) Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Beroe cucumis. A comb jelly. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 20/08/2009]. Available from:
(3) Jagerskiold, L.A. 1971. A Survey of the Marine Benthoic Macrofauna along the Swedish West Coast 1921-1938. Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum et Litterarum Gothoburgensis. Zoologica 6: 1-146.
(4) Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009. Ctenophore. [Online] Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/145454/ctenophore [Accessed 20 August 2009].
(5) O’Sullivan, D. 1986. A guide to the ctenophores of the Southern Ocean and adjacent waters. Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition Research Notes 36: 1-43.
(6) IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 August 2009.