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Comb Jellies: Ctenophora

Venus's Girdle (cestum Veneris): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Venus's girdles are ribbon shaped, reaching a length of almost 5 feet (1.5 meters) but a width of only about 3 inches (8 centimeters). The comb rows are all on one side of the ribbon, and the mouth is on the other side.


Geographic range: Venus's girdles live in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Antarctic waters, and the Mediterranean Sea.


Habitat: Venus's girdles live in the surface waters of the sea.


Diet: Venus's girdles eat small crustaceans and mollusks.


Behavior and reproduction: Venus's girdles swim across the water 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) before moving up or down 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) and reversing direction. Using this behavior, the Venus's girdle retraces its original path but 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) above or below it. A Venus's girdle captures prey on tentacles lying over its body, and the combs generate small whirlpools Venus's girdles are ribbon shaped, reaching a length of almost 5 feet (1.5 meters) but a width of only about 3 inches (8 centimeters). The comb rows are all on one side of the ribbon, and the mouth is on the other side. (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey. Reproduced by permission.) that may increase prey movement and capture as the Venus's girdle moves back and forth through the water. Venus's girdles have an escape behavior that consists of snakelike movements of the long body that allow the animal to move several body lengths in seconds. Venus's girdles make both eggs and sperm, which they release into the water for fertilization and development of larvae outside the body.


Venus's girdles and people: Venus's girdles have no known importance to people.


Conservation status: Venus's girdles are not threatened or endangered. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple AnimalsComb Jellies: Ctenophora - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Venus's Girdle (cestum Veneris): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, COMB JELLIES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS