This Scyphomedusa has
a saucer-shaped bell
up to 2 m in diameter at high latitudes; more southern specimens such
those near Rosario are usually closer to 50 cm. The bell has
center and a thinner margin. The margin is divided into 8
thick lobes (for a total of 16 lobes) (photo).
Has 8 clusters of up to 150 highly extensible tentacles arranged in
rows, arising from horseshoe shaped regions between the lobes (photo).
Has 8 rhopalia,
each of which is situated between the two lobes of a pair (photo).
folded, forming a blocky mass only about as long as the bell is wide
see this photo
for extended oral
arms). Color deep brick red to purplish, rose,
violet, or even
milky white. Yellowish-brown in small specimens, often more
large individuals. The swimming medusa looks like an 8
at the end of its power stroke. The tentacles may trail down
as 9 m in large specimens, 2 m in the 50 cm individuals found in our
Cyanea capillata (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name(s): Lion's mane jellyfish, Sea blubber, Sea
capillata captured near Rosario
Bay. Bell diameter is
about 12 cm in this position.
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles,
How to Distinguish from
camtschatica also has 16 large marginal lobes, but
they are not
in pairs and between these are 16 smaller lobes resembling fish tails
which the rhopalia are found. The tentacles are in 16 linear
(not 8) of up to 25 tentacles per group, hanging from the
It is usually a lighter yellow color than is Cyanea capillata.
Range: Arctic and
north boreal. In the Pacific it is common as far south as
occasionally seen in Oregon, and probably not as far south as
In the Atlantic it can be found as far south as Florida and Mexico.
Pelagic near surface,
in polar and temperate coastal waters.
lives less than one year. This species can give a painful
blisters that lasts for several hours. It is the most likely
in our area to sting you, and may even trigger allergic
on small fish and crustaceans. Several symbionts may be found
the bell, including juvenile pollock and other fish, and decapod
larvae. The gonads of this species are 4 highly folded,
structures that hang down under the bell and alternate with the 4 oral
lobes. This is the world's largest jellyfish.
and Fairbanks, 1966
and Carlton, 1975
and McConnaughey, 1985
and Mills, 1998
Reum, Jonathan P., Mary E.
Caroline E. Paulsen, 2010. Species composition and relative
abundance of large medusae in Puget Sound, Washington.
Science 84:1 pp. 131-140
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
This is one of the most prominent and common
jellyfish species seen
around Rosario, especially in late summer.
This photo of the same individual as above shows the
contracted but the oral arms extended.
Note the crab megalops larva riding on the outside of the
In this view the bell is expanded, ready for another power
The margin is divided into 8 pairs of lobes, with deeper
pairs. This photo shows 3 sets of lobe pairs. The
are on small flaps between the 2 lobes of a pair.
The tentacles are in 8 U-shaped groups of 4 rows each,
the pairs of lobes. This view from under the bell basically
that there is such a
profusion of tentacles, oral arms, and gonads under the bell
is hard to distinguish any discrete U-shaped groups!
animal can flatten its bell out so that the lobes project to the sides,
as seen in this individual floating near a jetty.
Authors and Editors of
Dave Cowles (2007): Created original page (an older
prepared by Christina Smith)
Jonathan Cowles (2007): Updated page with CSS