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Purple-Striped Jelly

(Chrysaora colorata)

Overview

This jelly has a white, bowl-shaped bell with 16 purple stripes and very long tentacles. Young crabs are often found hitching a ride in this jelly's bell. This is a symbiotic relationship—by eating parasitic amphipods that damage the jelly, the crabs get a meal and the jelly gets a free cleaning.

A Note From the Caretaker

Before adding any new jellies to a habitat, we clean and disinfect it to remove algae and any polyps from the species previously housed there, which may harm the delicate tissues of the new jellies.

Quick Facts

Learn more about the purple-striped jelly! Did you know that young crabs are often found hitching a ride in this jelly's bell?

This species is found primarily off the coast of California.

Purple-striped jellies feed on zooplankton such as copepods, larval fish, other jellies and fish eggs.

This jelly’s bell can be up to 3 feet wide, and tentacles can extend as long as 25 feet on giant specimens.

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.

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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