lions mane jelly

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

Cyanea capillata


It is the largest known species of jellyfish.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Jellies Invasion: Oceans out of Balance

Lion's mane jellyfish

The Lion’s mane jellyfish is a large species of jelly that varies greatly in size, from 1/2 inch in diameter to 8 feet. Its tentacles, divided into 8 groups of over 100 tentacles, can reach up to 98 feet in length. The largest recorded Lion’s mane jellyfish had tentacles that reached 120 feet long. This makes it one of the longest known animals in the world. In addition to a great variation in size, the species also exhibits variation in color. Larger jellies can be any color from bright red to dark purple, while the smaller ones tend to be tan to orange. Its tentacles are usually red or yellow, which is why it has earned the name “Lion’s mane jellyfish.”

Like other jellies, the Lion’s mane jellyfish is capable of asexual reproduction early in life. But when it reaches full maturity, it reproduces sexually. The female jellyfish will carry the fertilized eggs in her tentacles until they become larvae.


Zooplankton: such as small fish, other jellies, small shrimp, copepods, rotifers


Can vary greatly in size. Bell diameter can reach up to 7.5 feet, but those in lower latitudes may have bells only 4 inches in diameter. Tentacles can be up to 98 feet long.


Cold waters of the Arctic, Northern Atlantic, Northern Pacific

Population Status

It has not been evaluated by the IUCN Red List and is not in danger of extinction.


Birds, large fish, other jellies, sea turtles

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