A scintillating Beroe forskalii comb jelly under the sun with rainbows down its side

Comb over and check this out: The rainbows are under the sea!


đź“·: David Slater

Before recent storms, local divers were treated to a wonderful array of seasonal gelatinous drifters—including this scintillating Beroe forskallii comb jelly photographed along Cannery Row!

Beroe forskalii under the surface of the water, it is pinkish-clear with rainbows on its side

đź“·: David Slater

The wonderful rainbows coursing along the comb jelly’s body are caused by light bouncing off the animal’s comb rows—these stands of paddling hairs diffract incoming white light into its component colors as the prowling jelly twists and tumbles through the water.

Beroe comb jellies are active predators with modified hairs inside their mouths that act as jelly-scissors to chomp other drifters into bits should the meal not fit in their gaping maw.

A Beroe forskalii at the Aquarium on a blue background with beautiful comb rows on its side

When near shore, these jellies and many of their neighbors can often be found just under the surface—so should you find them snorkeling, looking down from a wharf or washed up on the beach, snap a photo and consider uploading your observation to iNaturalist and JellyWatch.org for scientists to track the arrival of these most sumptuous of holiday gifts to our local waters!

A Beroe forskalii at the Aquarium on a blue background with beautiful comb rows on its side



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