JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Species

Jellyfish Species picture

Jellyfish Species

Jellyfish exist in all oceans across the world. They exist at all levels of the ocean, from the surface of the water to the very depths of the ocean. Today, there are about 1000-1500 known species of jellyfish and new ones are being discovered everyday. This is surprising considering jellyfish are amongst the oldest living creatures in the world; they have existed since before the dinosaurs!

Here are some of the most common species of jellyfish:

- Stomolophus meleagris, also known as cannonball jelly, jellyball or cabbage head jelly: Cannonball jellies have round white bells that have a brown or purple band of pigment below them. This species have no tentacles, but feed with the help of their oral arms. These orals arms of the cannonball jelly is joined together to form a firm feeding apparatus. They grow up to 8 or 10 inches in diameter and are completely harmless to human beings. However, they are known to clog up fishing nets with alarming regularity in certain regions of the world.

- Rhopilema verrilli, also known as Mushroom Jelly: Mushroom jellies look a lot like cannonball jellies, but they are softer and flatter and they also do not have the brown band that is one of the distinguishing features of the cannonball jellyfish. Also they grow up to 10 or 12 inches in diameter. However, like the cannonball jellyfish, they too don't have tentacles. Instead, they have long finger-like appendages which look like they are halfway between oral arms and tentacles. This species of jellyfish is also completely harmless to human beings.

- Cyanea capillat, also known as Lion's Mane or winter jelly: This species of jellyfish gets its name of winter jelly because it is typically found in the colder months of the year. It has the typical bell shape that is most often associated with jellyfish. The bell is about 6 to 8 inches in size and has reddish-brown oral arms along its sides. It also has eight clusters of tentacles hanging underneath the oral arms. Although lion's manes are considered dangerous due to their sensational appearance in many pieces of literature, they are actually considered to be moderate stingers. Their sting causes prickling and burning sensation that can be quite intense.

- Aurelia aurita, also known as Moon Jelly: This is amongst the most famous species of jellyfish and is often kept and bred in captivity. You are very likely to have seen these in public aquariums. They are transparent and have a saucer-like bell shape. They are easily distinguished by the four pink horseshoe markings, which are actually their gonads. The size of this jellyfish varies between 6 to 8 inches and 20 inches in diameter. Only recently, scientists have evidence to believe that moon jelly may not be a single species at all, but a group of many subspecies with very similar characteristics. The sting of the moon jellyfish is venomous and can cause mild discomfort in humans. The symptoms of a moon jellyfish sting include prickling sensation and mild burning.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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