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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Tropical Diver

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs along the coat of the Eastern Pacific from Alaska to Chile.
  • Found most often in temperate waters between the ocean floor and the surface.
  • Juvenile, however, can be found near the ocean floor, where it matures from a polyp.

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is clear, milky white or yellow white with clear margins, or edges, and a yellow sexual organ in the center of the bell, resembling the yolk of an egg.
  • Margin has 16 tentacle clusters, each with about 25 tentacles.
  • Bell is usually 24 inches across (60 cm).
  • Tentacles are usually between 10-20 inches (25-50 cm) in length and are sticky in texture, with only a mild sting.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of gelatinous zooplankton, primarily other jellies, especially the moon jelly.
  • Food is collected by two methods:
    • Drifting silently through the water and entrapping prey in the long, sticky tentacles (ambush predation)
    • Swimming through the water vertically looking for slow moving predators (cruising predation)
  • Like other cnidarians, uses its tentacles to both trap its prey and transport food to the mouth.

Reproduction / Growth

  • As is common for cnidarians, this jelly has a dimorphic life cycle, with a sessile polyp stage and a free-swimming medusa stage.
  • Male releases sperm into the water that attaches to the female and enters through the mouth.
  • Once fertilized, the embryo (now called a larva) attaches to a rough surface on the ocean floor to mature.
  • Polyp forms from the larva with time, which then produces juvenile medusa called ephyra through asexual budding.
  • It takes nine months for the detached ephrya to mature into adult medusa.

Conservation Status

  • "Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List
 

Additional Information

  • Often forms symbiotic relationships with several different species, including crabs and other small crustaceans that attach to the bell and juvenile jack fish that swim among the tentacles.
  • This jelly is also often called the fried-egg jelly due to the fact that rough water can manipulate or warp the jelly’s bell shape, making the egg-like bell look flatter.
  • Polyp often lives longer than the medusa form of the jelly, continuing to produce ephrya generations even as the medusa that created the polyp dies out.

Sources

www.archives.evergreen.edu

www.aquariumofpacific.org

Invertebrates, Brusca and Brusca

Photo Credit: Carly Pope