Madin, Laurence P. Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
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An order of the phylum Ctenophora (comb jellies) comprising the families Bathocyroidae, Bolinopsidae, Eurhamphaeidae, Kiyohimeidae, Leucotheidae, and Ocyropsidae. Lobate ctenophores are characterized by large winglike lobes on the oral end of the body that are used for capturing food. All species are predators on zooplankton. Lobates are among the largest ctenophores; some epipelagic species attain an oral-aboral height of 8 in. (20 cm), and some deep-sea species have lobes nearly 39 in. (1 m) across. Most species are transparent, but some have conspicuous brown, blue, or purple spots on the lobes. Deep-sea forms often have red pigment surrounding the stomodeum. Lobates are bioluminescent, like other ctenophores. Bright blue-green light is produced in the meridional canals, and some species also release a cloud of luminous material into the water when disturbed, probably as part of an escape response.
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