Size12 to 14 inches (30-36 cm) in diameter
DietZooplankton and plankton
HabitatCoral reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove ecosystems in shallow, warm waters
- May reach 12 to 14 inches (30-36 cm) in diameter.
- Length ranges from 8 to 14 inches (20.3 to 35.6 cm).
- Coloration ranges from green to a gray-blue.
- Lies on the seafloor with four pairs of branching oral arms that point toward the surface.
- Upper surface of the jelly’s bell is concave, acting like a suction cup to adhere to the seafloor.
- No central mouth; uses secondary mouths to ingest prey.
Upside down jelly’s nourishment comes from the algae in its tissues, called zooxanthellae.
- Receives most of its nourishment from the symbiotic micro-algae (zooxanthellae) that live in its tissues.
- Other methods of feeding include filter feeding and using its tentacles to stun and capture prey.
- Live prey consists mainly of zooplankton and plankton.
- Occurs mainly in the warmer waters of the Western Atlantic, including the Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
- Found in coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove ecosystems in shallow, warm waters.
- Male jellies release gametes into the water, and females will take them in for fertilization.
- Female jellies hold the fertilized eggs in the subumbrella (under side of the bell) until the eggs hatch.
- Once hatched, the planula become free-swimming until they find a substrate suitable for settling. After settling, the planula develop into polyps.
- When resources are plentiful, the polyps of this jelly species reproduce asexually by budding to produce sedentary (stationary) polyps.
- “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.
- Also known as the “mangrove jelly.”
- Zooxanthellae that live in this jelly’s tissues produce oxygen, allowing it to survive in oxygen-deficient waters.
- Commonly preyed upon by various species of sea turtle, including the leatherback and loggerhead.