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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Venus's Girdle Cestum veneris

The unusual name of this animal comes from the ribbon shape of its transparent, pale violet body. Eight rows of comb cilia are modified and run in two lines along one edge of the ribbon. The two main tentacles are short, and numerous other short tentacles occur along the lower edge of the body. As an escape response, Venus’s girdle can swim rapidly by undulating its body. However, more usually it moves slowly by beating its comb cilia.

  • Phylum Ctenophora
  • Length Up to 6 ft (2 m)
  • Depth Near surface
  • Habitat Open water
  • Distribution Tropical and subtropical waters of north Atlantic, Mediterranean, and western Pacific
Venus’s Girdle habitat mapzoom image