FACTS ABOUT MOON JELLYFISH
- Moon Jellyfish are easily recognizable by the pattern of four joined circles on the top of the jelly fish created by its gonads which are visible through the transparent bell.
- They are single sex organisms being either male or female.
- They consist mainly of water.
- Their food is Plankton, including small shrimps, fish eggs and other floating larvae.
- They are found across the world and have a wide range of temperature tolerance from 6 to 31 °C.
- They feed on plankton and grow up to 40 centimeters in width.
- The adult and larvae of Aurelia have nematocysts or stinging cells to capture prey and also to protect themselves from predators.
- The animal lacks any respiratory, excretory, and circulatory systems.
- Respiration occurs by diffusion across the cell wall of the organism.
- As the oxygen rate in the ambient water drops so the jelly drops its rate of respiration.
- They have a subumbrellar nerve net within the structure that is responsible for controlling contractions in the coronal muscle in the bell that allow it to swim.
- The moon jelly has rhopalial centers, which allow it to control the pulsations of the coronal muscle.
- They swim horizontally and tend to stay near the surface.
- The adult has a has an umbrella margin membrane and tentacles that are attached to the bottom of the membrane.
- A wide variety of predators eat the moon jelly, ranging from fishes, turtles and birds.
- They probably live for about six months in the wild but in captivity under ideal conditions can live for several years.
- The eggs are fertilized in the female when she ingests floating sperm given out by a male.
- The eggs develop into larvae that free float until they anchor onto a substrate.
- The larvae grow into an organism that resembles an anemone which splits up into organisms that grow into the adult.
See the moon jellyfish in action:
Moon Jellyfish are mainly kept in large commercial aquariums, but as the knowledge base on these jellyfish has expanded it has become possible to keep them in a home aquarium. It is a fairly complex technical task and depending on the ambient temperature of the specific residence, a water chiller will almost certainly be needed to keep the temperature within their preferred range. A good filtration system and carefully designed water flow are necessary. A well lit tank full of Moon Jellies can make a very attractive addition to a home.
MOON JELLYFISH BLOOMS
Occasionally when conditions are right moon jellyfish congregate in large numbers, a so called bloom. One of these blooms can be seen in the video below which was filmed in Dar es Salaam , Tanzania.
MOON JELLYFISH CLASSIFICATION