JellyFish Facts

Black Jellyfish

Black Jellyfish picture

Black Jellyfish

The Black Jellyfish (Chrysaora Achlyos) or Black Sea Nettle are so called because of their dark blackish color. Whether you believe it or not, this species of jellyfish was identified as a separate species only as recently as 1997. Even though pictures of the black jellyfish had been taken as early as 1925, this species was wrongly misidentified and this mistake was corrected only after a period of nearly 75 years. This has given the black fish the distinction or the dishonor, as some may call it, of being the largest invertebrate to be discovered in the twentieth century.

One of the reasons, the misidentification of the species took as long as it did is that sighting of this particular species of jellyfish are extremely rare and they are not usually found near coastal areas. However, in the years 1989 and 1999, large swarms of the black jellyfish were sighted off the coast of Baja California and southern California. These sighting of the black jellyfish has been attributed to incidents of 'red tides' where large numbers of zooplankton rise to the surface of the water. Zooplankton is the primary food of the black jellyfish and the increase in number of zooplankton on the surface of the waters near coastal areas also led to the arrival of the black jellyfish to these areas in extremely large numbers.

Black jellyfish are known to inhabit the marine waters from Monterey Bay in the north, down to southern Baja California and Mexico. There have been reported sightings of the black jellyfish as far north as British Columbia, but they are not known to exist in any other part of the world. The black jellyfish reach fairly large proportions, with their bell measuring up to three feet in diameter. They also have highly developed oral arms that can extend up to the length of 20 feet. Black jellyfish also have long tentacles at the margins of their gelatinous bodies, but their length varies.

Like most other jellyfish, black jellyfish also have a single orifice, the mouth. It is used for the purpose of ingesting food. They also have a single cavity that serves the purpose of digestion and consists only of the gullet, the stomach and the gut. The black jellyfish does not have any respiratory or excretory organs. It is believed that the black jellyfish excretes waste material from the digestion of food through their mouth itself. Black jellyfish are carnivorous and mostly feed on zooplankton. They are also one of those species of jellyfish that feed on other jellyfish.

The tentacles of the jellyfish serve the dual purpose of procuring food for the jellyfish and defending it against predators. The tentacles are lined with thousands of nematocysts that contain toxin venom to kill their prey. Once the prey is dead, the tentacles transport it to the mouth of the jellyfish for ingestion. The venomous tentacles also serve the purpose of paralyzing any predator in the vicinity of the jellyfish to give it time to escape. In humans, the sting of the black jellyfish causes a painful stinging sensation, but does not lead to death.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

Privacy Policy | Terms Of Service | Contact us | Credits
Copyright © 2021 Pattern Media