Crystal Jelly

By Julia Traill

Size: Bell Diameter can be up to 25cm, though the size of this jellyfish can vary depending on where it is found.

Common name: Crystal Jelly

Scientific name: Aequorea spp. 

Identifying Features: They have many radial canals with more than one-hundred and fifty sticky tentacles that are laced with toxins that allow it to easily catch its varying prey. It also has gonads that follow along their radial canals. The base colour of these guys is white which is only enhanced by the bio-luminescence that rings around the bottom of their umbrella.

Habitat: The Leptomedusae can typically be found from spring to autumn in the pelagic waters of Vancouver BC’s Pacific Ocean to Central Californias waters.

Predators: Predators of the Crystal jellyfish are typically other vicious jellies such as the Lions Mane Jellyfish and others. Another technical predator of theirs would be humans, as they are used to conduct research in gthe medical field.

Food: For the most part these guys consume other soft bodied organisms like themselves. A few classes that they may eat are hydromedusae, ctenophores, polychaetes, and appendicularians. Chrystal jellyfish have the ability to consume other jellyfish that are twice their size and appear to prefer Comb Jellies over others. They are also known to be cannibalistic so when one keeps them they must ensure there is enough room.

Reproduction: Crystal jellyfish reproduce just like any other possible jellyfish as they can do so both sexually and asexually. They reproduce year-round leading to there being new Young Medusae a minimum of every two days. Their polyps also tend to live in colonies, and can live up to more than 2 years.

Fun Facts: Scientists harvest Crystal Jellyfish because their luminescent aequorin – also known as Fluorescent Green Protein, it is essentially what makes these jellyfish ‘glow’ a greeny blue.They use this to conduct experiments that helps us detect Calcium, neurological, and biological . It is also used in laboratories for clinical experiments on molecular,neurological, and biological research. Their Luminescent aequorin is also being studied so that it may eventually be used for early cancer detection. This glowing protein is also broadly used as a biological highlighter that really helps the speed up and over-all process of finding and studying genes.


Online citations – July 28 2016

Book references

PACIFIC COAST PELAGIC INVERTEBRATES A guide to the Common Gelatinous Animals  by David Wrobel and Claudia Mills 1998 page 32 number 22 Order Leptomedusae Family Aequoreidae

Photographs by D. Young

Video by D. Young and M. Chapple

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