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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. They are mostly transparent but under ultraviolet light there is a bioluminescent green ring around the bottom of their umbrella.
Habitat: The hydromedusae can typically be found from spring to autumn in the Pacific waters off the coast of North America, from the Bering Sea to southern California.
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. Crystal 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: Aequorea victoria produces the green fluorescent protein (GFP). This species is rarely bioluminescent in nature but by placing it under a black (UV) light the GFP can be observed. Osama Shimomura first discovered GFP and in 2008 he and his colleagues Roger Tsien and Martin Chalfie were awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for both the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein. It is important to note that many online sources continue to show unrelated species reflecting green light and inaccurately state it is this species bioluminescing. The species was first described by Murbach and Shearer in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History in 1902 (originally named Mesonema victoria). https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/19331348#page/85/mode/1up They indicate that they were “collected in considerable numbers at the entrance of Victoria Harbour and in Puget Sound”. The specimens photographed and used in these videos were also collected off of Victoria, British Columbia.
Short Plumose Anemone
By Fraser Evans
Common name: Short Plumose Anemone
Scientific name: Metridium senile
Size: Roughly 4 inches
Identifying Features: The Plumose Anemone is usually short from about 2 inches to 4 inches but can get bigger. They’re commonly white or off orange in colour but depending on their living conditions the colours can become bright orange. The tentacles on the anemone are typically transparent but can be off white or orange.
Habitat: Anemones broadly can live in many conditions or habitats. From the tidal zone to up to 100 metres deep you can find these beautiful creatures. Though their preferred locations are exposed sites such as piers, walls, ropes docks or big rocks. Contrary to most sea creatures Plumose Anemones don’t mind brackish water. You can find these critters all over the oceans of the world but especially Alaska to southern California and the other side of North America on the Atlantic coast. Anemones also can be a habitat for other fish such as clown fish with a symbiotic relationship.
Predators: Not many animals attack the Plumose Anemone. In some cases star fishes have been known to eat large anemones. Also nudibranchs commonly eat the Plumose. When anemones are touched they will shrivel up as a defense mechanism.
Food: When small plankton, jellyfish, zooplankton or other small sea critters float by the anemone will reach out with its tentacles and use the nematocyst to poison the prey before proceeding to eat it. The anemones mouth and anus are the same.
Reproduction: Metridium can reproduce either sexually or asexually. Asexually it reproduces by pulling itself into two parts or ripping off pieces of itself and letting these turn into small anemones. Sexually Plumose will reproduce by releasing its sperm or egg into the sea out of its mouth. Then the little fertilized eggs will grow into larvae which metamorphose into baby anemones.
Painted Anemone Common Name: Painted Anemone Scientific Name: Urticina grebelnyi
Common Name: Painted Anemone
Scientific Name: Urticina grebelnyi
Urticina grebelnyi can be identified by the pink to white color’s on it’s tentacles, as well as raised bumps, referred to as non-adhesive vesicles, on it’s pedal column. Unlike the similar looking species Urticina crassicornis, that U.grebelnyi is often mistaken for, the column of U. crassicornis is smooth while that of U. gregelnyi has the raised bumps. They vary in color and often have green to light yellow patches covered in red blood-like markings. They have many tentacles that are banded red.
The Painted Anemone lives on the Pacific and north Atlantic coast in shallow and mid-tidal areas and under ledges and crevices. They can be found in small groups as well as large colonies that form carpets on the floor of the ocean.
Almost all anemones are carnivorous and using their tentacles they paralyze and consume any bypassing prey. U.grebelnyi in particular eats shrimp, krill, mussels, and fish.
The Painted Anemone’s natural predators are various species of nudibranches, sea stars, and snails. However it’s not completely defenseless. The tentacles that it uses for catching prey can also be used in self-defense, poisoning it’s enemies in time for it to escape using it’s pedal.
When anemones reach adulthood the males release sperm and the females release eggs into the water. The gametes travel in the current where the sperm fertilize the eggs. The fertilized egg then developes into a zygote, and then into a planula, a free-floating larval form of the anemone. The planula will settle on a rock or other solid surface where it grows into a polyp. The polyp looks much like the adult though it is smaller. With enough nutrition it will then grow into an adult, walking on it’s pedal to avoid predators or move to a preferred location and catching prey with it’s fully developed poison tentacles.
Photos by Michael Adams and David Young
Interesting resources for research and photographer credit
Victoria High School
1260 Grant St.
Victoria. BC, Canada