Pacific Sea Nettle

Pacific Sea Nettle

Chrysaora fuscescens

DID YOU KNOW?

This jelly uses light-sensing organs (ocelli) to migrate daily from dark, deep water to sunlit surface water.

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

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Pacific Sea Nettle Pacific Sea Nettle Pacific Sea Nettle

Pacific Sea Nettle

The Pacific sea nettle’s bell is yellow to reddish-brown, and the long, ruffled tentacles can be yellow to dark maroon.

Diet

Zooplankton, including other jellies

Size

Bell can be up to 30 inches wide, and tentacles can be as long as 16 feet on giant specimens.

Range

Primarily the U.S. West Coast; occasionally as far south as Mexico and as far north as British Columbia; has been spotted around Japan

Population Status

In the past, jelly populations were kept in check by predators like sea turtles and jelly-eating fish. Due to the reduction of their predators, jelly populations are growing at alarming rates.

Predators

Sea turtles and other jelly-eating animals, such as tuna, sunfish, butterfish, and spiny dogfish, keep the jelly populations in balance. All seven species of sea turtles include them in their diets. The largest sea turtle species, the leatherback, depends on jellies for food. Because jellies are more than 90% water and an adult leatherback can weigh more than 2,000 pounds, one turtle can consume a lot of jellies.

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A Note From the Caretaker

Just like a person with a rod and reel, when sea nettles have their tentacles fully extended, they are 'fishing' for a meal.