Phacellophora camtschatica  (Brant, 1835)

Common name: Fried-egg Jellyfish, Egg yolk jellyfish

Synonyms: None
Phylum Cnidaria
 Class Scyphozoa
  Order Semaestomeae
   Family Ulmaridae
Phacellophora camtschatica collected in Rosario Bay.  Bell width is approximately 15 cm.
Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2006
Description:  Bell to 60 cm in diameter, with 16 clusters of tentacles, slightly inside the bell margin, each containing a single row of tentacles (photos).  With 16 lappets and 16 rhopalia (photo).  Oral arms relatively short and massively folded.  Central gonadal mass yellow, with surrounding clear to whitish or pale yellow bell, oral arms and tentacles, resembling a raw egg; small individuals often colorless or milky white

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:  Cyanea capillata  is similar but P. camtschatica can be identified by a transparent margin consisting of 16 large lobes that alternate with smaller lobes (photo). Also, Cyanea capillata coloration often includes reddish hues but this species does not.

Geographical Range:  Worldwide; on the western United States coast from Alaska to southern California.

Depth Range:  Pelagic

Habitat: In temperate oceans.

Biology/Natural History:  Spends much the time motionless or slowly pulsing the bell while drifting with tentacles extended 10-20 feet or more.  Feeds on gelatinous zooplankton, especially other medusae.  Usually with symbiotic amphipods on the subumbrella and juvenile crabs on the exumbrella, including Cancer gracilis.  Also hosts the barnacle Alepas pacifica and juvenile fishes.  Has only a mild sting.  In the life cycle, fertilized eggs develop into ciliated planula larvae which swim, then settle and metamorphose into scyphistomae polyps.  Mature scyphistomae have 30-44 tentacles and reproduce asexually by side budding as well as strobilating to produce ephyrae which grew up into mature medusae.  In the laboratory it took about 9 months for an ephyra to grow into a mature medusa.

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Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff (1987, 1996)
  Smith and Carlton, 1975

General References:
  Gotshall (1994)
 Wrobel and Mills (1998)

Scientific Articles:

Reum, Jonathan P., Mary E. Hunsicker, and Caroline E. Paulsen, 2010.  Species composition and relative abundance of large medusae in Puget Sound, Washington.  Northwest Science 84:1 pp. 131-140

Widmer, Chad L., 2006.  Life cycle of Phacellophora camtschatica (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa).  Invertebrate Biology 125:5 83-90

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors, etc.:

These become more common in the Rosario area in late summer.

This top-down view of an individual in an aquarium shows the 16 clusters of tentacles and the gut.

This view of the underside of an individual swimming upside-down at the water's surface clearly shows the tentacles which occur in 16 linear clusters.

Lappets with rhopalia
This view of the edge of the bell shows some of the lappets and rhopalia, which come in 16 sets.
These views of a Phacellophora camtschatica swimming near the surface of Rosario Bay show the extremes of configuration before and after a swimming stroke.

An underwater view of a swimming individual by Kirt Onthank, July 2007. The tentacles are stringlike around the outer margin and the oral arms are lacy, hanging down from around the mouth.

Authors and Editors of Page: Christina R. Smith 7/2002
Christina R. Smith(2002):  Created original page
Edited by Hans Helmstetler 12-2002, Dave Cowles 2005-
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