JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Breeding

Jellyfish Breeding picture

Jellyfish Breeding

The marine animal that has been inhabiting the oceans of our world for thousands of years, is the jellyfish. The jellyfish is an amazing creature, which evokes fascination and curiosity among people. There are 200 species of this creature, inhabiting our marine world in various colors, sizes and shapes. When a jellyfish is seen swimming in the ocean it has an aesthetic appeal, and their appearance almost makes them look like some alien creature from another planet. It is very interesting to observe their fascinating aspects and the best place to safely do so is in an aquarium.

Previously it was very difficult to keep a jellyfish in an enclosure, as most of them use to slowly sink to the bottom of the tank and die. New technology has helped in developing tanks that have a current of flowing water, which the jellyfish needs to survive and stay afloat. Moreover the jellyfish has a complex reproductive biology, which researchers have been studying, so that they are able to breed them in labs and aquariums.

Jellyfish can reproduce sexually, as well as asexually. In sexual reproduction the male and female both release their sperm and eggs respectively into the water where it will fertilise. Some jellyfish releases the sperm into the water, which travel to the female's mouth to fertilise the eggs. In the moon jellyfish, the eggs will get lodged into the crevices of the oral arms and will form into a kind of brood chamber, for the fertilisation and early developing process. The eggs after fertilisation, develop into larvae, called the planula. This will swim away and settle on a hard surface, and forms into a polyp. In this stage it will be cup shaped and have a stalk and feeding tentacles, with a mouth on top.

After a span of growth this polyp will start reproducing asexually by strobilation or budding. The segmenting polyp is called a scyphistoma. Many scyphistomae will be produced, and these will slowly mature into immature jellies called ephyrae. These will grow on to become medusae and then to the mature jellyfish.

Some species of jellyfish can start budding in the medusan stage and directly produce new medusae. This type of budding usually takes place from the tentacle bulbs in some species, while in others it may take place from the manubrium, which is above the mouth. Each species of jellyfish has a specific location from where its starts to bud. Few species of hydromedusae can split in half to breed.

Some species of jellyfish do not go through the polyp phase, and go on directly to maturing into a jellyfish from the developing of the fertilised eggs.

In labs and aquariums, breeding by polyp culture is more successful and reliable than sexual reproduction. In a closed environment only a few polyps have to reproduce by budding, to produce the jellyfish offsprings. The person overseeing this procedure has to be very careful about certain things. He should know what are the rapid fluctuations in temperature that is needed and also the right water movement and the salinity content of the water.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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