The Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) is a beautiful and commonly encountered species of jellyfish. Here are some characteristics of the Moon Jellyfish:
- Transparent Bell: Moon Jellyfish have a translucent, bell-shaped body that is usually colorless or pale. The bell is typically saucer-shaped and can reach a diameter of up to 40 centimeters (16 inches).
- Four Circular Gonads: Inside the bell, Moon Jellyfish have four horseshoe-shaped reproductive organs called gonads, which are visible as circular markings on the top of the bell.
- Short Tentacles: Moon Jellyfish have numerous short, fine tentacles that extend from the outer edge of their bell. These tentacles are often arranged in a fringe-like pattern.
- Stinging Cells: The tentacles of Moon Jellyfish contain stinging cells called nematocysts. While their sting is usually mild and harmless to humans, some individuals may experience slight irritation or a rash if they come into contact with the tentacles.
- Four Oral Arms: Hanging down from the center of the bell, Moon Jellyfish have four frilly oral arms. These arms help to capture and transport food to the jellyfish’s mouth, which is located on the underside of the bell.
- Pulsing Movements: Moon Jellyfish use a pulsating motion of their bell to swim through the water. They are not strong swimmers and are mostly at the mercy of ocean currents.
- Habitat and Distribution: Moon Jellyfish are found in oceans worldwide, particularly in coastal areas and shallow waters. They can tolerate a range of salinities and are often encountered in bays, harbors, and estuaries.
- Diet: Moon Jellyfish are primarily carnivorous, feeding on small planktonic organisms such as zooplankton, fish eggs, and larvae. They use their tentacles to capture prey and then transport it to their mouth for ingestion.
Moon Jellyfish are fascinating creatures and are frequently kept in aquariums due to their graceful appearance. However, it’s important to note that their captive care requires specific conditions and expertise.