lions mane jelly

Lion's mane jellyfish, Cyanea capillata

The Lion’s mane jellyfish is a large species of jelly that tends to vary in color. Larger jellies can range from bright red to dark purple, while smaller ones are typically to tan to orange. This species earned its name from its red and yellow tentacles, which resemble the color of a lion’s mane.

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.

Did You Know?

It is the largest known species of jellyfish.


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


Can vary greatly in size, from 0.5 inch in diameter to 8 feet. Its 800-plus tentacles are divided into eight groups and can reach up to 98 feet in length. The largest recorded Lion’s mane jellyfish had tentacles that reached 120 feet long. That makes it one of the longest-known animals in the world!


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, and sea turtles

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