Mnemiopsis leidyi

Warty Comb Jelly

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Mnemiopsis leidyi is a ctenophore that is native to the western Atlantic, but by the late 1980s was established as an invasive exotic in the Black Sea, presumably after crossing the Atlantic in ship ballast water (it has subsequently appeared in the Caspian, Aegean, Azov, Marmara, North, Baltic, Skagerrak, and Mediterranean Seas). It reached very large numbers and depleted stocks of zooplankton as well as fish eggs and larvae, triggering the crash of several fisheries. In 1997, however, another ctenophore native to the western Atlantic, Beroe ovata, was discovered in the northeastern Black Sea. Beroe ovata is known to feed on planktivorous ctenophores and, in particular, on M. leidyi. The arrival of B. ovata appears to have stabilized the Black Sea ecosystem, leading to a reduction in M. leidyi populations and subsequent recovery of plankton and fish populations.


Belgian Exclusive Economic Zone, Belt Sea, Black Sea, Bulgarian Exclusive Economic Zone, Caspian Sea, European waters (ERMS scope), Georgian Exclusive Economic Zone, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean Sea, North West Atlantic, Romanian Exclusive economic Zone, Russian Exclusive economic Zone [Black Sea part], Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone, Ukrainian Exclusive Economic Zone, Zeebrugge

In its native range, Mnemiopsis leidyi is found from Cape Cod Bay (Massachusetts, U.S.A.) southward and is the most common ctenophore south of Cape Cod. It enters the nearly freshwater parts of estuaries such as Chesapeake Bay. (Gosner 1978)

Mnemiopsis leidyi is native to the Atlantic coast of the United States, but over the past several decades it has invaded the Black, Caspian, Aegean, Azov, Marmara, North, Baltic, and Skagerrak Seas and has recently been reported to be established in the Mediterranean Sea (Faasse and Bayha 2006; Javidpour et al. 2006; Boersma et al. 2007; Reitzel et al. 2007 and references therein; Fuentes et al. 2010; Reusch et al. 2010 and references therein).





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