The Australian Spotted Jellyfish, also known as Phyllorhiza punctata, is a species of jellyfish native to the southwestern Pacific Ocean, including the waters around Australia.
- Appearance: The Australian Spotted Jellyfish has a dome-shaped bell that can reach a diameter of up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) or more. The bell is usually translucent and can range in color from white to pale yellow or brown.
- Distribution: The Australian Spotted Jellyfish is native to the waters of the southwestern Pacific Ocean, particularly in the coastal regions of Australia.
- Sting: The Australian Spotted Jellyfish has stinging cells, called nematocysts, on its tentacles, which it uses to capture prey. While its sting is generally mild and not harmful to humans, it can cause irritation, redness, and itching. It is advisable to avoid direct contact with the tentacles to minimize the risk of stings.
- Feeding: Australian Spotted Jellyfish are filter feeders, primarily consuming plankton, small fish, and other small organisms that they capture with their tentacles. They use their tentacles to sweep through the water, capturing prey and then transferring it to their mouth for digestion.
- Behavior: These jellyfish are capable of both horizontal and vertical movement in the water, allowing them to follow currents and search for food.
- Reproduction: The Australian Spotted Jellyfish has a complex life cycle that involves both sexual and asexual reproduction. The fertilized eggs develop into free-swimming larvae called planulae, which eventually settle on a substrate and transform into polyps. The polyps can reproduce asexually by budding, producing small jellyfish called ephyrae that grow and mature into adult jellyfish.
The Australian Spotted Jellyfish is a notable jellyfish species, known for its distinct appearance and ability to form large blooms. Its introduction to non-native areas has raised concerns due to its potential impact on local ecosystems.